WINGSPAN

  • Winter break Dec. 24 - Jan. 7

  • First semester ends Dec. 21

A Little Wisdom: Gaps in education need to filled to provide complete history

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In+her+weekly+column+%22A+Little+Wisdom%22%2C+staff+reporter+Abby+Dasgupta+shares+the+insights+she%27s+gained+through+the+years.++
Back to Article
Back to Article

A Little Wisdom: Gaps in education need to filled to provide complete history

In her weekly column

In her weekly column "A Little Wisdom", staff reporter Abby Dasgupta shares the insights she's gained through the years.

Juleanna Culilap

In her weekly column "A Little Wisdom", staff reporter Abby Dasgupta shares the insights she's gained through the years.

Juleanna Culilap

In her weekly column "A Little Wisdom", staff reporter Abby Dasgupta shares the insights she's gained through the years.

We must all take the time and do the research. There is no atoning for destroying the life and livelihood of an entire country, but this is a way to hold ourselves accountable for our actions. This is the way to be better, to pay our respects, and create a more peaceful world for the generations to come.”

A few weeks ago, I talked about the dangers of basing one’s whole news consumption around online or social media, but I’m going to be quite honest with you: I still very much treat Twitter as my morning paper and I still haven’t yet picked up a physical newspaper. I thought I’d start off with that disclaimer because there is nothing I hate more than hypocrisy and because the topic of this week’s column comes from something I saw in my more-than-daily perusal of my Twitter timeline.

The other day I saw a video that is quite graphic and while the decision was intentionally made not to link to this video, it’s message is incredibly important. For those who decide not to search for the video, it gives a tour of a clinic in Vietnam headed by Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, dedicated to the care of children born with birth defects associated with a chemical called Agent Orange. This was the first time I’d ever heard those words, and that is unacceptable.

Agent Orange was part of an American military tactic known as Operation Ranch Hand, whose main purpose was to use several “rainbow herbicides” to decimate the forests, fields and jungles of Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War in order to cut off the opposition’s food sources and flush them out into open areas. Let it be said that these herbicides–of which Agent Orange is the most lethal–got the job done and then some. The effects of this chemical are still felt in Vietnam; three to four generations after the initial exposure, leagues of cancers, birth defects, and other fatal ailments continue to plague Vietnamese civilians.

But why am I teaching a history lesson in an opinion piece? Well, because it’s a lesson that I was never taught. As I said before, watching this video was the first time I learned about Agent Orange and researching the deadly toxin for this column gave me an insight into the Vietnam War that wildly differs from what I learned about it in school. I was taught that the Vietnam War was a tragic conflict that the U.S. fought in order to curb the spread of communism in Asia. And obviously, I, like every semi-intelligent student, know that wars have dire, often unfair consequences on the civilians of both sides in the conflict; but I never could have imagined the monstrosity of the tactics our side utilized. Not only did our military rob the Vietnamese of their food source and natural ecosystems, our actions have created a perpetual cycle of disease in their country. And we don’t even have the decency to teach students about these mistakes we’ve made.

This is not the first time I’ve encountered a disheartening gap in education about past American folly. Often, our textbooks brush over the harsh reality of the African slave trade, the irreparable damage done to the Native American people that persists to this day, the dehumanizing internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, and more, because it isn’t of enough lasting significance to warrant discussion today–as if these marginalized groups aren’t still facing the consequences of these past actions today.

It is as Erin Gruwell said: “Silence ensures that history repeats itself.” Thus, the only way to be sure that these horrific crimes against humanity are not committed again is to teach our students, the next generation, about all the things their countrymen did wrong.

We must all take the time and do the research. There is no atoning for destroying the life and livelihood of an entire country, but this is a way to hold ourselves accountable for our actions. This is the way to be better, to pay our respects, and create a more peaceful world for the generations to come.

 

About the Writer
Abby Dasgupta, Staff Reporter

Abby Dasgupta is a senior involved in Key Club, HOSA, ISM, and band. In her free time she enjoys reading, driving and watching Game of Thrones. The one...

Leave a Comment

Wingspan intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. Wingspan does not allow anonymous comments and requires the person's first and last name along with a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. To see our full Comment Policy, visit libertywingspan.com/about/

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • A Little Wisdom: Gaps in education need to filled to provide complete history

    Columns

    All Voices Matter: put the controller down

  • A Little Wisdom: Gaps in education need to filled to provide complete history

    Columns

    Desperate to drive

  • A Little Wisdom: Gaps in education need to filled to provide complete history

    Columns

    Keeping Up With Kanika: a little blood goes a long way

  • A Little Wisdom: Gaps in education need to filled to provide complete history

    Columns

    Say It Louder: looking beyond the stars

  • A Little Wisdom: Gaps in education need to filled to provide complete history

    Columns

    All Voices Matter: vaccinations

  • A Little Wisdom: Gaps in education need to filled to provide complete history

    Columns

    Barking out ways to help dogs in need

  • A Little Wisdom: Gaps in education need to filled to provide complete history

    Columns

    Keeping Up With Kanika: benefits of introspection

  • A Little Wisdom: Gaps in education need to filled to provide complete history

    Columns

    All Voices Matter: no means no

  • A Little Wisdom: Gaps in education need to filled to provide complete history

    Columns

    Why the Mississippi Senate race is especially significant to our country’s identity

  • A Little Wisdom: Gaps in education need to filled to provide complete history

    Columns

    Keeping Up with Kanika: kindness is refreshing

Navigate Right
The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas
A Little Wisdom: Gaps in education need to filled to provide complete history