What should kids know about July 4th

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With Independence Day upon us, adults at the Glen Ridge Community Pool were recently asked what children should know about the Fourth of July.

Nicole Solano said she discussed the Revolutionary War with her oldest child and that America was celebrating its freedom from England.

“I used to work for a British company and I liked telling my boss we kicked his butts,” she said.

Cem Yucel said people have to learn about sacrifice.

“People fought hard for independence and kids have to learn about it, especially these days with everything going on around the world.”

Julie Ross said children should learn that freedom is precious. Her husband, Allan, said that meant freedom for everyone — all races and religions.

“Now you hear about forcing Christianity on all people,” he said. “This is not a Christian nation, but look, there are laws mandating the Ten Commandments in the classrooms. That should be unconstitutional.”

“Does someone have a right to dictate what you read or see?” Julie asked. “That is part of the preciousness.”

Sheila Eby said people should remember that democracy does not come easily.

“And voting to retain democracy has never been more crucial,” she said.

Josette Huber said children should learn how our country was formed.

“Hopefully, children will become active voters in the future,” she said. “Democracy requires participation and it cannot happen without a nonpartisan press.”
Paula Liberis said although people should know their history, history was written by the winners.

“But it’s important to discern why we’re celebrating the Fourth of July,” she said. “But it’s also hard to teach history objectively. It can be quickly politicized. But the attempt should be made so the kids get a clear picture.”

Paula said all her children are home schooled.

“As a homeschooler, I want my children to be critical thinkers,” she said. “Why did people come to this country? How did they navigate the people already living here? Kids think in terms of right and wrong.”