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Letters to the Editor Policy

Letters to the Editor Policy
 

  • The word-count limit for letters is 350, including signatures (with exceptions at the discretion of the editor).
  • Letters may be edited for length, style, and clarity.
  • Email letters to letters@harvardpress.net or send by regular mail to Editor, The Harvard Press, P.O. Box 284, Harvard, MA 01451. Deadline is 5 p.m. Tuesday to be included in that Friday's edition.
  • Letters should include your name, address, and phone number. Phone numbers and house numbers will not be printed; they are used only for verification.
  • We will not print anonymous letters, form letters, blanket-mail letters, or letters that we consider libelous.
  • We will not print more than one letter from the same person in any given week.
  • Letters must be signed by individuals; we do not accept group names as signatures. Up to four people may sign a letter on behalf of a group; all must provide addresses and phone numbers.
  • During contests for public office, we will not publish endorsement letters the Friday before an election. Based on space availability, we may limit the number of endorsement letters in a given week, but will strive to print a balanced representation of letters received. We will not publish negative letters about any candidate.
  • All letters may be read online by Harvard Press subscribers who are logged-on registered users of the website.

Racism exists in Harvard and merits our attention

The mission of Arm in Arm, in part, is to work in collaboration with the larger community to build understanding and respect among residents. As such, we are responding to the recent statements made in the Press and at the Select Board meeting regarding the adoption of a town diversity policy.

As to the claim that racism and bias are not current problems in our community, we strongly disagree. In a survey done in the fall, 47% of the 171 responding Bromfield students reported witnessing or experiencing racism or bias. Other community members have even had the “n” word used against them. We have seen rocks and bridges graffitied with hateful symbols. Racism exists in our town and needs the attention of all of us if we want to truly have a welcoming and inclusive community.

We also want to clarify two additional points. We do not envision this policy to be used punitively. Raising awareness and utilizing a restorative justice approach are better suited to addressing harms. The police should be involved if a violent act rises to the level of a crime. Because of his extensive knowledge, however, we believe consulting Chief Denmark with respect to establishing a reporting mechanism might prove helpful.

We fully support the Select Board members’ work toward a more inclusive and welcoming environment by taking actionable steps with employees, appointees, and volunteers and setting a tone for all those who live and come to Harvard. The Select Board members are leaders of our community and their commitment will go a long way in helping increase the safety and security provided to town residents and others. We have offered to collaborate with them in this initiative.

One of our upcoming plans is to circulate an anonymous survey to capture residents’ experiences. With that knowledge, the community will be able to target improvement efforts. Please consider lending your voice to the conversation by filling out the survey in the upcoming months.

Sharon Cronin and Linda Dwight, members
Arm in Arm steering committee

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