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Letters to the editor on school fight, humanist cult, peaceful way, demonizing gun owners, new pope

  • Published Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at 12 a.m.

Letters to the Editor

Include your full name, home address and phone number for verification purposes. All letters are edited for clarity and length; 200 words or fewer are best. Letters may be published in any format and become the property of The Eagle.

Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202

E-mail: letters@wichitaeagle.com

Fax: 316-269-6799

For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

Don’t judge school based on fight

I am new to Truesdell Middle School. When I took the job as a seventh-grade language arts teacher at the school, I was excited by the vision of the new principal and the commitment and passion of the assistant principals and dean. What I have found during this school year may surprise some people. The faculty at my school is talented and caring. The staff believes that we are all a team. The students are generally polite, well-behaved and want to do a good job.

I see students who appreciate the amount of work expended by the faculty, staff and administration on a daily basis. The empirical evidence is easy to find: Our reading scores on the state assessments show a remarkable increase over last year. I attribute this to the relationships that the teachers and students have formed, founded on academic expectations that mastery is possible and that our kids are capable, thoughtful and bright.

I am very disappointed in the negative online comments posted about the fight on our campus (March 14 Local & State). That fight could have happened at any middle school. Our students throughout all of the schools are our future. We need to recognize the vast majority who are creating excellence and let their efforts be the news. My students deserve it, because they have worked hard to earn that recognition.

KRISTEN JOHNSON

Wichita

Humanist cult

How far will the quest of equality go? Will everything eventually be allowed? The fabric of society collapses when man tries to define the boundaries of moral and ethical behavior.

The nature of the descent into self-indulgence is man’s failure to correctly define what is good or bad for man. When there is no defined baseline, everything is then relative to the next naive behavior. Eventually, the continued lowering of the bar destroys from within.

Some in America have been replacing the original American baseline with a relative humanist baseline. Short term it might seem good or right, but the long-term consequences will eventually prevail.

Influences are creating extreme pressure to herd the masses to accept the leadership of the humanist cult.

KENT ELDER

Udall

Peaceful way

I was appalled at some of the online comments about the column by Leonard Pitts Jr. on civil rights leaders not needing guns (Feb. 4 Opinion). People actually said the leaders and marchers should have been armed.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders were smart enough to know that violence would have undermined their cause.

But talk-show host Rush Limbaugh and gun advocate Larry Ward obviously do not know what the movement represented and how the civil rights leaders wanted to accomplish their goal.

Throughout history there have been humanitarian changes made not through violence but by peaceful demonstrations. Mahatma Gandhi and King are two examples. They empowered people to gain freedom not through violence. Rather, they showed how violence would have only demeaned their cause instead of pushing it forward.

Having lived through the civil rights era, I was thrilled by the way people like King were exposing racial inequality in a peaceful way and exposing the bigotry that was rampant at the time. He shined a light on the shameful ways those bigoted people were acting.

FLOYCE WATTSON

Wichita

Don’t demonize

I don’t believe for a moment that those with a pro-gun viewpoint are indifferent to the pain and agony caused by the misuse or abuse of firearms. In fact, I think those with a pro-gun viewpoint are more sensitive to the issue than most, because they know that those in the media and on the political left will try to use such incidents to further their anti-gun agenda.

Why is the solution to anyone shooting up a school, movie theater or political rally to disarm me and other lawful gun owners? True, if there were no guns, there would be no gun violence. But there are guns, lots of them in this country, and as a percentage of those that exist, only a minute number are ever used to hurt anyone.

No one is advocating putting more guns on the street; just allow those who are so inclined to protect themselves wherever they may be. Rather than trying to demonize me and other gun owners, why not go after those committing these unlawful acts, by doubling or tripling the sentences they receive when they are convicted of a gun crime?

JERRY W. DAVIDSON

Valley Center

Humble pope

The conclave of cardinals proved last week that sometimes the good guy still does come out on top. Pope Francis should be an inspiration to us all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.

From what we know of him so far, the new pope appears to be a true follower of Christ. His humble, modest lifestyle, outreach to the poor and compassion for those rejected by society truly befit a man of God. Yes, he has his share of faults and past wrongdoings, but don’t we all?

Though not a Catholic myself, I cannot help but have a deep admiration for this new pope, and I wish him God’s richest blessings.

RACHEL AYER GREBE

Rose Hill

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