Letters to the editor on respecting teachers, White House tours, Boy Scouts, wind energy, MS awareness

03/09/2013 12:00 AM

03/08/2013 5:16 PM

Kansas teachers deserve better

It is a demoralizing time to be a teacher in Kansas. Not everyone knows about the anti-union bills moving through the Legislature, but these bills would limit collective-bargaining rights and restrict funding of the teacher unions.

Our teachers deserve better. During my 28 years of work as a school psychologist in the Wichita district, I have seen teachers who multitask virtually every minute of the school day to meet the needs of students. Teaching is an intellectually challenging and complex job that includes student discipline, preparation for standardized tests, and constant monitoring of students, all done while coping with less influence and respect than that garnered by other professions. I am impressed to see teachers continuing to work this hard in the face of their work demands, the media’s anti-teacher rhetoric across the country, and now the potentially disempowering actions by the Legislature.

We should want teachers to succeed. Support rather than criticism allows young educators to develop into master teachers, and retains the ones who already are excellent. Increased support might change the fact that half of teachers leave teaching during the first five years. All of us would benefit from a different approach. I know that I plan to contact my representatives to encourage a “no” vote on the anti-union bills, and I hope that you will consider doing the same.



Temper tantrum?

White House tours have been halted due to the sequester. Is this our president throwing an infantile temper tantrum for not getting his way, or is it his way of eliminating the riffraff from the palace?



Equality for all

Yes, the whole idea of the Boy Scouts is to build character and godly values in boys (“Stand up for nation,” March 2 Letters to the Editor). Godly values such as “love one another” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” come to mind.

The reality of barring gay boys from Scouting leads us to a most unsettling picture: A Scout is loyal, trustworthy, friendly (except to gays), courteous (except to gays), etc. It simply does not make sense.

God did not “clearly state that homosexuality is an abomination.” Actually, God did not write the Bible. It was written by men at a particular time in history, in a particular place and from a particular society. So their writing cannot help but be tied to the times and the places and social norms from which it springs. Eating shellfish is also listed among the “abominations.” We no longer accept that rule, because our reason and intellect tell us it makes no sense for us.

We are moving rapidly to a time when reason and intellect and experience tell us that anything other than complete equality for all, with no exceptions, is wrong and makes no sense.



Harness winds

It is heartening to have seen several letters in The Eagle supporting wind energy. Kansas is one of the leading states in the country with strong winds, and it is time to use them.

The Sierra Club national magazine for March/April has a large section devoted to wind energy. I have condensed this information into articles for our monthly Recycling in Kansas newsletter for April.

If you would like to receive this newsletter, send your e-mail address to kansasrecycling@gmail.com.



Connect against MS

Every hour someone is newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a chronic disease of the central nervous system for which there is as yet no cure. MS interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the rest of the body. Thanks to growing collaboration around the world, however, there are improved treatments leading to enhanced quality of life for people with MS.

MS divides minds from bodies, and pulls people from their lives and away from one another. It is a destroyer of connection. But what if we could forge connections that MS couldn’t destroy? We could give knowledge, raise questions, find answers and provide hope.

I know the effects of MS; I was diagnosed with MS in 1991 and I am a board member with the Mid America Chapter of the National MS Society.

Beginning with MS Awareness Week, Monday through March 17, I encourage people to connect. It’s easy to get involved; visit www.MSconnection.org. It only takes a few minutes to make a difference in the lives of people who live with this disease. I also invite you to stand with me and link arms at noon Tuesday in Old Town Square. People with MS and their families, caregivers, friends and allies will be linking arms to symbolize that while MS kills connections, connections kill MS.



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