Letters to the Editor on arming teachers, censoring violence, dedicated women, Pope Francis
03/25/2013 12:00 AM
03/23/2013 6:22 PM
Bad idea to arm school employees
As a longtime public schoolteacher at the elementary level who recently retired, I strongly believe it is a bad idea to allow school employees to be armed. School is a place where children feel safe; for some, it may be an oasis of security. Would the presence of a gun in a classroom or elsewhere in a school building make students feel safer? More likely it would create paranoia among the children if they feel there is a “need” for a gun being there.
In the highly unlikely event of an armed maniac entering through the locked doors now found in most schools, how would it help to have a teacher with access to a gun? What are the chances that the intruder would be in the area where the armed teacher is located? Should all school employees have guns? Would the armed educator have the gun at hand, ready to do battle with the intruder? In this nightmare scenario, what if the teacher mistakenly shoots the wrong person? In the confusion, could children be caught in the crossfire? Would more guns combined with dozens of children make a safer situation?
If we’re so fearful, maybe we shouldn’t allow students to leave the school fortress for recess. Instead of promoting fear, let’s maintain the safe learning environment already in place.
Censorship no fix
In the 1950s, people were convinced that comic books caused juvenile delinquency. The Comics Code Authority, one of the toughest censorship boards ever, was created. Juvenile delinquency continued.
In the 1960s, violence was blamed on Saturday morning cartoons. A censorship board even tougher than the Comics Code Authority was formed. Violence continued to climb.
In the 1980s, the game “Dungeons and Dragons” was blamed for teen suicides. The game’s publisher took out anything that smacked of actual Satanism. Teen suicide didn’t decline.
Now people are saying violence should be taken out of video games, movies and television shows. If this fictional violence is removed, the real thing probably won’t be affected at all.
Grateful to women
During this Women’s History Month, I’m reminded of the myth common among anti-feminists that women only want equality in lucrative areas, like being a doctor or an attorney. I know from my own experience that this is not true, because of some dedicated women who have been of tremendous help to me in a field that is neither prestigious nor affluent: social work.
I cannot express enough gratitude to the countless women who have help me find jobs, advocated for me to make sure my needs are met, and counseled me during difficult periods of my life. And none of them is getting rich from it.
Pope Francis first appeared on the balcony in his alb, the basic white clerical garment of the priesthood. This sent a powerful message. He asked the enormous crowd to pray for him, and at the end of the appearance donned the minimal priestly garb and read a blessing for the faithful.
He took the name of the most humble St. Francis of Assisi, and we learned that he had used public transportation and lived in a small apartment doing his own cooking. Then his initial garb and actions made sense. He clearly is a 21st-century Francis who befriended all. We are blessed and the church should thrive.
The attackers responded quickly by bringing up his apolitical role in Argentina’s “Dirty War.” Several decades ago we hosted several Argentinian students. Because the families represented both sides in this conflict, I tried to understand this unfortunate time, and failed. My review today is equally unproductive.
I suggest that we in the United States disregard this event and focus on his future actions before judging this shepherd’s worth.
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