Letter: Attacks on AP history teacher unfounded


We’ve heard from some very opinionated folks on the state of our schools, so maybe it’s time we heard from a student.

As a 2007 graduate of South Whidbey High School and former student of Mark Eager, I am deeply disturbed by the actions of the 38 individuals who sent a letter to the South Whidbey School Board alleging that SWHS — and specifically Mr. Eager — are actively “indoctrinating” students, and support “a Marxist, anti-family, violent organization — Black Lives Matter.”

Phew, let me catch my breath.

Indoctrinating students into what, they fail to say.

I cannot stand by while Mark Eager’s reputation is baselessly ransacked by a group of people, sponsored by the Island County Republican Party, which evidently reject the idea that students might get a fact-based education.

To this day, I view Mr. Eager’s advanced placement U.S. history class one of the most rigorous and thought-provoking courses I’ve ever taken, and I continue to regard him as among the finest and most dedicated instructors I’ve encountered. His tenure at SWHS elevated the school for years. To say he’s “indoctrinating” students is not only laughable, it’s closed-minded and shameful.

With his scholarly passion and engaging style, Mark Eager gives students the power to think about life and values for themselves. He challenges students to think critically and learn the lessons of history as we set out to chart our own course.

If the only evidence Ms. Wenzek and her associates have that Mark Eager is “indoctrinating” the students of South Whidbey into blindly following his own political beliefs — which he refuses to reveal — is that he paraphrased the comments of a man who also said “there were good people on both sides” of a white supremacist rally, those students aren’t missing out on much.

Lastly, Ms. Wenzek and her cosigners object to Mr. Eager characterizing Trump’s comments as “lies.” Any steward of history, anyone with any semblance of allegiance to the truth or tether to reality, could not possibly describe them otherwise.

It was 7 million votes, folks.

If this group believes Trump’s comments on the Capitol riot were truthful, must they then not also believe that Mexican immigrants are “rapists,” that fallen soldiers are “suckers” and “losers,” and that it’s OK to grab women by their private parts?

If not, where do they draw the line?

William Harper


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