|Governor Percival Baxter|
|1922 Portland Press Herald Glass Negative, Maine Memory|
By coincidence, yesterday was the day of the Deaf Culture Festival, the 135th anniversary of deaf education in Maine, and the grand reopening of the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf Museum. I confess I didn't know this museum existed; it opened in 1995 to exhibit an array of school memorabilia, as well as teletype technology.
|Baxter School for Deaf Museum Exhibit|
|Teletype Machine - exhibit at deaf culture museum|
Sadly, the museum tentatively represented a more sober aspect of deaf student experience, one that I had not heard of previously. Apparently, like many other residential educational institutions (including those for Wabanaki peoples), the school for the deaf has a history of staff sexually abusing the children. While some apologies and public healing have taken place, many lives have been scarred, even lost.
I returned to the Quaker meeting, finding members in the process of discussing the quest for peace and acceptance in a broken world. Broken world. That was well said. If there's anything that history teaches us, it's that this struggle across centuries has been constant. It remains a quest worth pursuing.