Letters to the editor on College Hill Elementary School, helping refugee kids, Gaza, legalizing pot

08/07/2014 12:00 AM

08/06/2014 5:13 PM

Thanks for support of our school

One year ago, the College Hill Elementary School family was rocked by a fire that damaged our beloved school. Thanks to the outpouring of support from across our community, we were able to start school only a few days later in an empty building in west Wichita.

I am still amazed at the speed with which our district was able to reopen the vacant building and set up phone and Internet service, clean, paint, furnish and make that school a welcoming place for our students. Bus routes were drawn to accommodate hundreds of kids who had always walked to school and now needed to be bused across town. The logistics involved with every aspect of this transition were mind-boggling.

We knew our district would use all of its resources to ensure a successful school year for our students. What we didn’t know was how much our community would shower us with its support. We received library books, school supplies, classroom decorations, toys for the latchkey program and monetary donations. Several groups provided meals for those who worked feverishly to set up classrooms. The list is endless.

At 6 p.m. Friday, College Hill Elementary School will hold an open house in conjunction with the normal back-to-school activities. We will dedicate our new gym, celebrate the start of a new school year and express our thanks for all those who demonstrated why Wichita is such a great place to live. Wichitans support their schools. Please join us.

A. KATHLEEN PATTERSON

Principal

College Hill Elementary School

Wichita

Help refugees

Because Newton, at its best, has a history of welcoming immigrants who seek peaceful refuge, we support providing help for some of the children seeking refuge from conditions of violence in their home countries. We are saddened that the Newton City Commission, in a special meeting last week, wouldn’t support a letter for such a project (“Newton declines to back housing of border kids,” Aug. 2 Eagle). We are also saddened by the misstatements of some of those who spoke in opposition to the project.

We should not blame the children, for they are refugees from the crime and violence in our hemisphere. Leaders of the countries involved, including our own, share the responsibility for addressing these problems. It would be illegal to deport children without due-process hearings on their refugee status. We should be a welcoming community to help these children in any way possible.

The letter was signed by Dwight and LaVonne Platt, Kamala Platt and Larry Friesen of Newton; Zona and Omer Galle, Francis and Margaret Toews, Duane and Elizabeth Friesen, and Darlene Dick of North Newton; and Valetta Seymour of Moundridge.

Gaza terrorists

About 160 Palestinian children died in Gaza. The Israelis had nothing to do with it.

In 2012, the Institute for Palestine Studies published a thorough report on Gaza’s tunnel construction. It reported that “at least 160 children have been killed in the tunnels, according to Hamas officials.” These children were being used by Hamas as child labor to build its terror tunnels. The number of injured children is unknown. Who knows how many more child laborers have died since then.

Speaking of tunnels, Hamas begged for cement to “build schools and hospitals.” Your tax dollars paid for tons of concrete for Gaza. Hamas then used an estimated 800,000 tons of concrete for its terror tunnels. Of course, Israel’s concerns about how the concrete was being used were universally disparaged.

Were these tunnels constructed for the purpose of getting groceries for Palestinians? They were not. Hamas crammed the tunnels with explosives, weapons and militant murderers, some disguised as Israeli soldiers, with the goal of killing as many Israelis as possible.

Egypt, for its part, destroyed an additional 1,370 tunnels trespassing into its territory. That’s even more concrete.

Shame on pro-Palestinian letter writers to this newspaper who defend these people and their false narratives. They are complicit in the agenda and actions of the Gaza terrorists who inflict appalling suffering not only on their neighbors, Israel and Egypt, but also on their own children.

STAN R. HARDER

Wichita

Don’t legalize pot

The recent efforts to decriminalize marijuana and even legalize it will have a disastrous effect on our society. The last thing we need is to make it easier and thus more tempting to use hallucinogenic drugs that impair people’s judgment and behavior.

It is particularly harmful when parents, who are responsible to protect and care for their children, are allowed more freedom to smoke marijuana. Driving under the influence is also a scary proposition, even though there may be penalties enforced.

We already have so many problems with people drinking and texting while driving. Why add another one?

I understand that the jails are overcrowded and that jail time may not be a good way to deal with people who break this law. But a simple fine will not be effective in discouraging people.

I am deeply disappointed that the Peace and Justice Center of South Central Kansas is spending its time and money on this issue. It will no longer receive my financial support.

ANN FETTERS

Wichita

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