Today we debut a new Unleashed feature called “Four Questions,” which will offer insights by area school teachers from questions posed by the Unleashed staff.
Selah High School civics teacher Bryan Dibble has been educating the Yakima Valley’s youth since 1994. Dibble believes in the power of accessible civics education and works to get Selah’s students more involved in their community. He collects military uniforms of all eras and gives Selah students the opportunity to proudly wear them at parades and living history demonstrations. For Dibble, history is alive in more than just textbooks.
How do you think the Black Lives Matter movement has shaped civics education in schools?
“I think the civil rights movement has shaped education, but it took years to do that. Like the civil rights movement, I think it will take quite some time for the Black Lives Matter movement to make its way into our curriculum. There is a lot of bias in the current generation, so I think you really need a generation removed for educators to look at the Black Lives Matter situation factually. It’s going to take time for us educators to wrap our heads around what has happened.”
What are your hopes for 2021 regarding the U.S. political climate?
“I hope that we make lying an issue that cannot be tolerated. And, unfortunately, unless we have more independent fact checkers, we’re just not going to get there. I think maybe a branch off of the Supreme Court to fact check everything would help.”
What do you think is the most important factor in reopening schools?
“Either we decide that we’re OK with around 400,000 deaths in the United States, or we wait to reopen schools until the count is down. I think that our students are still able to get a valuable education on Zoom, so we should wait until it’s safe to teach in person.”
What has been your favorite class to teach this year and why?
“I love teaching government. But this year, my favorite class to teach has been freshman Big History. Big History is not just the Big Bang, but also origin stories from every major culture and religion. We looked at every major event from the creation of the universe to people on Earth. Even though it was online, that class blew my mind and I thought, ‘Wow, finally we’ve got a baseline education for these kids.’ We’ve got to push social studies back further.”