Casey Boland struck a nerve. She’s the Lake Highlands High School Advanced Placement History teacher, Peer Helper sponsor, Academic Decathlon advisor and all-around great mentor-to-kids. She’s passionate about preparing students for college and for life, and she works hard to light a spark in each of them and to show them the big, wide, wonderful world.

Casey wrote an op-ed piece for Sunday’s Dallas Morning News decrying today’s “vitriolic political climate” in America and describing the climate of “hatred for anything ‘other’.” “We taught our kids hate,” Casey says, “when we attacked people instead of calmly explaining our views on issues.”

Casey begins with a story about students discussing Election Day for Obama. When she overheard white kids expressing disgust that an (N-word) was elected president, she was stunned. “As the day wore on it became apparent that this was a theme.”

Casey doesn’t fault folks on one side of the political fence or the other. When pressed to explain their fierce allegiances to one political party/candidate or another, few students on either side could. Their positions “were more of a reflection of the emotions of the adults around them.” The kids expressed hatred of people, not policies, Casey found.

“Kids don’t understand the issues, that’s why they make it personal,” Casey told me. “But because they make it personal, they are less likely to listen to facts that would logically have to inform, or even change, their views.”

“Political disagreement is necessary for democracy,” Casey wrote, “but so is civilized, logical, truthful discourse. Do we want to continue to feed this monster that will eventually destroy us, or do we want to starve him and nourish the better angels of our nature?”

It’s time to banish the hate monster in LH.