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Letters to the editor on suspended student, Brownback’s beliefs, tattered flag, ex-presidents, Mother’s Day math, West High

  • Published Saturday, May 11, 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.

Heights High School officials overreacted

As a proud graduate of Wichita Heights High School and an alumnus of its student government programs (class president 1983 and 1984, student government president 1985), I write to express my disappointment that school administrators suspended this year’s senior class president, Wesley Teague, for commenting about Heights’ football team on Twitter.

I understand that administrators are concerned about “senioritis” at this time. I also appreciate their need to maintain order as prospective graduates prepare to make their way to life beyond the hallowed halls at Heights. But no thoughtful observer can see the Twitter tussle that resulted in his suspension as anything other than much ado about nothing.

If Teague had encouraged classmates to violate school rules, or if he had made a comment that was truly offensive, a suspension might be an appropriate response. As it is, the administration overreacted. Their message seemed to be that Heights will not tolerate playful comments about its athletic programs.

MICHAEL KLEBER-DIGGS

St. Paul, Minn.

Right to beliefs

I am not a supporter of Gov. Sam Brownback very often, but a letter writer’s complaint about the governor having “JESUS + Mary” written at the top of his notes about an abortion bill was beyond the pale (“Keep religious beliefs out of state matters,” April 27 Letters to the Editor). The man is a citizen – a citizen whose right to religious belief is squarely asserted in the Constitution.

The First Amendment does not require government officials to abandon their personal religious beliefs. It does not require that their religious beliefs must never be stated in public.

The writer implies that while the governor should not be allowed to impose his beliefs, she should be allowed to impose her beliefs on him. Her beliefs are different than his. That distinctly does not mean that hers are correct and his are wrong. They’re different.

If the writer wants Brownback to respect her right to free speech and the assertion of her opinions, she sure as heck should not be seeking to stifle his. He may be wrong about a lot of things, but he is entitled to write on his personal notes what he believes, and not be falsely accused of violating the Constitution when he does so.

LARRY W. CRACRAFT

Wichita

Flag a disgrace

I frequently walk near Central and Webb behind the dental offices there, and I have identified an American flag represented in the most despicable way. It is not flown at the proper height. It is shredded and torn and is a disgrace to this country.

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, parked his campaign bus underneath this flag for most of the winter of 2012. I contacted his office, the real estate agent in charge of this development, and other businesses near the display. No one responded or took responsibility for this abhorrent display of the American flag.

MARK DEVANEY

Wichita

Served their country

Regarding a May 4 Opinion Line comment about seeing the four ex-presidents and current president together: I saw five men who are or have served their country. Four of them worked their whole lives and now are retired. One is still working and will retire in 2016. I found the statement about “four rich white guys on government welfare” offensive and void of fact.

AVERY SMITH

Wichita

Mother’s Day math

Sunday is not only Mother’s Day, it is one of only 12 dates each century that is a Pythagorean triple date.

You may remember the Pythagorean theorem from geometry class in school: In a right triangle, the sum of the squares of the two sides equals the square of the hypotenuse, or A squared plus B squared equals C squared.

Sunday’s date is 5/12/13. And 5 squared plus 12 squared equals 13 squared.

There will be another such date later this year, 12/5/13, in which the numbers of the month and date are flipped.

The only other such dates this century will be 9/12/15, 12/9/15, 8/15/17, 12/16/20, 7/24/25 and 10/24/26.

After 2026, there will be no more such dates until the 22nd century, starting with 3/4/5, 4/3/5, 6/8/10 and 8/6/10, followed by the next 5/12/13.

JOHN WILHEIM

Wichita

Thanks, West High

There was a memorial service held on April 27 for Wayne Whitcomb. He was a 1964 graduate of Wichita West High School and a 1969 graduate of Friends University.

The administration of West High permitted us to hold the memorial service at their school at no charge. Principal Joel Hudson met with us to help organize the service. Assistant principal Eric Hofer-Holdeman took care of the sound system and the music, which was played during the service.

NEILL WHEELER

Wichita

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