This evening I moderated a session hosted by the Democracy Matters chapter on Gettysburg's campus. The session was under the blanket of their 'Democracy and Donuts' (two of my favorite things) and was dedicated to the NFL Anthem Protests, and to the question of the role of protest in democracy more generally. I had an interesting conversation with a student after the session. The student thanked me for the way I handled the discussion. He was on the conservative end of the political spectrum, and about three quarters of the way through the session, I (in developing a larger point) revealed that I am on the left end of the political spectrum. The student told me that he was stunned by this revelation, because the way in which I had handled the questions suggested that I was firmly in the middle; and he thought that it was cool that though I disagreed with him, I respected his opinions and made him feel as though they were valuable contributions to the discussion. It reminded me (A) just how much work we educators have to do in openly practicing the art of respectful disagreement and setting that positive example for our students, and (B) that there are still civil avenues of communication between persons of differing persuasions. It was a very human, beautiful moment. 


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