Dear editor:

Though retired from teaching, I’m aware of concerns in education. These ones are not limited to youth: bullying, celebrity worship, and disdain for patriotism and religious faith (notably Christianity and Judaism).

Students have a right to an education, safety and peace of mind. Bullying violates those rights; and, it wastes tax dollars parents pay.

Bullying can be physical, verb al or psychological. It can be gifted students mocking the challenged.

Asian-American students are often the highest achievers. In some urban schools, they are hassled for that – that’s deplorable.

A parent could tell their kids: “We forbid you to bully or belittle others. If you do, we’ll penalize you. Your friends’ parents are ‘on board’ with us. We approve of you defending your self, but don’t build yourself up by tearing down others.

Sometimes paybacks are most unpleasant.

It’s satisfying to win encounters with bullies; not everyone can do it. It’s better in negative encounters don’t happen.

Avoidable ‘father absenteeism’ and a decreasing commitment to marriage continue. That’s not helping, confirmed by national statistics.

Short of spoiling student athletes, it’s fitting to showcase their achievements on the sports page. It’s also fitting to showcase achievements in sciences, career center programs, arts and others.

“Celebrity” doesn’t equal “hero.” Roberto Clemente was a star athlete and a hero. O.J. Simpson was a star athlete and is a convict.

Jonas Salk was a hero. Without his vaccine, polio would have prevented some notable careers.

Some Hollywood celebrities need carefully scrutinized. Egotism, hypocrisy and unrealistic politics are conspicuous.

Michael Shulan, creative director of the 9/11 museum, opposed displaying the image of first responders raising our flag over the World Trade Center ruins. His reason? It’s too ‘rah-rah America.” Absurd!

We need not apologize for strong statements of patriotism and Judeo-Christian beliefs. Americans are not seeking exile in Cuba.

A few out-of-area liberals, fine people, are close to us. But they eschew the “strong statements” I mention. They’ll label it a “Republican plot” or a “distortion by Fox News.” All liberals don’t do this.

We must not sacrifice our national self-confidence. We’re masochistic enough with our fossil fuels, borders and job-killing officials.

The aforementioned students deserve better.


Terry D. Hallock