Last week an old friend and former Madison school board member sent us an email drawing attention to some of the post-election discussions going on in Madison public schools, and it reminded us of the importance of our schools as places of learning, and as safe places to question the world students see all around them.

Some adults are quick to criticize the issues being discussed to say nothing of the tenor of the discussions. But it seems to us our public schools are exactly the right places for this kind of exploration and discourse.

Further we applaud faculty and staff who have recognized fears and anxieties of some students and who have made a point of letting every student know they are valued and welcomed and loved.

A lot of us need to ratchet down the rhetoric. But our kids need to know they are safe and cared for and can express themselves. Our public schools are just the places for that.