Misconceptions about teachers
Cal Thomas’ May 27 column (“Don’t place faith in the false god of politics”) contained a paragraph about public schools that revealed misconceptions many conservatives seem to have.
Writing about early childhood education, Thomas referred to “liberals,” “shaping young minds,” “indoctrination” and “brainwashing” – as if the teachers are trying to influence the worldview of little kids.
Early childhood teachers are teaching the basics of how to read, how to work with numbers, how to get along with their classmates, how to wait in line. These are challenging tasks, given the diverse backgrounds, income levels and education levels of the families sending their children to public schools.
At election time, during my experience as a teacher of elementary students in a public school, we have often held mock elections. The students’ results have always been similar to the results of the community. They voted the way their parents voted. They are heavily influenced by their parents, and we teachers probably couldn’t brainwash our students, even if we wanted to. Besides, the political views of the teachers vary widely.
Spend a day with a public school teacher and observe the hundreds of little things he or she does for the students. Or just step into a classroom and see what is emphasized. Typically, there will be posted rules or reminders that stress respect, responsibility and caring for one another. You will likely see students working together or working individually to solve problems.
Don’t place faith in commentators with a narrow view that is out of touch with reality.
GOP and Jesus
Republicans cut state safety-net services on the premise that nonprofit organizations will compensate. Although nonprofits do wonderful work, they face limitations. Now the GOP has turned on charities, too, proposing removal of key tax exemptions.
I call you, religious brethren, to vote against these Republicans. Jesus would never have sold out the poor for campaign donations. As religious folk, when dictating policy, we ought to prioritize policies that best serve the family. The concept of family stresses the importance of helping those who are less fortunate. Christians should not ignore the poor.
How on Earth would forcing charities and nonprofit hospitals to pay taxes, raiding school funding and denying people health care help families?
It’s also important to quash the delusion that the Kansas GOP is pro-life. It may stand in opposition to abortion, but Jesus said a lot more about fighting poverty than he ever said about the womb. Beholden to corporate interests, Kansas Republicans pursue actions that lead to loss of life – such as their refusal to expand Medicaid.
Values voters, keep this in mind when you vote. Remember the actions of the Kansas GOP, and how they stand in sharp contrast to what Jesus advocated.
Charlie Chandler is a reputable banker and a longtime supporter of Wichita. After reading his commentary “Growing the region” (May 31 Opinion), I can only think that someone slipped him the Kool-Aid.
Sedgwick County’s withdrawal from the Regional Economic Area Partnership and the long-lost enthusiasm for Visioneering Wichita should have been enough to warn him and others that under current state and local governments, no such short- or long-term growth is possible.
I would have believed him in 1964.
See what happens
We should be able to see what happens when we elect our leaders from the business community: Their taxes go down, and the rest of us are expected to pick up the slack.
From cutting their taxes and raising ours to the cutting of education funding, robbing the highway fund, and treating teachers and state employees like dirt, it should be getting clearer that we need to elect our leaders from somewhere else than the business community.
I am disgusted at the doings in Topeka. Anyone else who works for wages, which is the majority of us, should feel the same. If we continue to elect from the business community, it is us who will be getting the business while they get tax breaks.
MICHAEL G. NICHOLS
Say ‘thank you’
I had the privilege of attending Memorial Day services at Greenwood Cemetery. My thanks to the board of directors of this cemetery for keeping up this tradition.
Memorial Day is not just another day off work. This day, originally Decoration Day, was set aside to honor our fallen soldiers. The service was well-attended, but there were some empty chairs. I would love next year to see those chairs filled. We owe this, at the very least, to our nation’s best – our soldiers both young and old. They need to be lifted up.
Our nation’s soldiers secure for us the right to express ourselves with letters such as this one. They pay for our rights every day with their blood, sweat and tears.
I thank them from the bottom of my heart for all they do. I thank Greenwood Cemetery and its staff, and I thank all those who participated in and attended this service. We must never forget the meaning and importance of Memorial Day. I challenge all who read this to commit next year to attend a service.
A small price to pay to say “thank you.”
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