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Letters to the editor

Teachers on front lines in new war

Year after year, our society has laid new responsibilities at the doorstep of our schools. The trite maxim “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach” has never been further from the truth.

In addition to being held responsible for the academic growth of their students, educators are being asked to repair an abundance of problems created by our popular culture and the breakdown of the family. Our educators soldier on, doing their best to impart traditional values as well as academic skills to their students. Our daughter teaches high school Spanish in Ohio. Wife to Derek, and the mother of a 9-year-old, she told us recently, “I’ve already told Derek that if something like this happens in our school, don’t expect me to do anything else than to protect my students. I’m a teacher – that’s what we do.” I believe she speaks for all the teachers, principals, superintendents and support staff in our schools.

For years, educators have been on the front lines of the culture wars. Now it appears they are also on the front lines of a shooting war. When you pray for the families of Newtown, Conn., who have suffered such tragic losses, pray for our educators as well. They need our support and understanding for all the ways they show care and concern for our young people.


NRA invites further carnage

At last, charter school teachers will be licensed. They will be if the proposal by the erudite Wayne LaPierre to arm teachers is taken seriously.

Just imagine this scenario: A deranged gunman breaks into a classroom full of students, spraying the room with bullets from an automatic rifle. The teacher reaches for the key to the locked drawer where he/she keeps the weapon. If he/she is not hit, the gunfight begins. Imagine the chaos, imagine the effect on children. What is the likelihood that anyone would be protected in such a situation?

Some of those who revere their guns cite the theater in Aurora, Colo., as an example of what the outcome would have been had several of the moviegoers been packing. This is what would have happened. There would have been a shootout in a dark theater with no one knowing who was the bad guy and who the good. The carnage would have been far greater than it was.

But what would have happened if the bad guy couldn’t get a gun?


Strengthen sentences instead

The Newtown, Conn., shooting cannot be described any other way than tragic. However, will stricter gun laws make a difference?

Let me run this story line: A school bus with 20 grade-school children and six educators is on its way to visit the museum when a drunk driver runs a red light and hits the bus, sending it in front of a truck carrying gasoline. The tank carrying the fuel splits open and bursts into flames. No one involved in the accident survives. Does anyone call to ban vehicles? Should anyone? Every day hundreds of vehicle accidents kill more people than the one single incident.

Guns don’t kill and cars don’t kill; they are just instruments people use to kill. Think about strengthening the punishment for those who commit the crime. No more plea bargaining out of the maximum punishment. Maybe that will make people think twice if they knew they would be taken out of circulation.

Taking guns out of law-abiding citizens’ hands will only reinforce criminals’ knowledge they won’t have to worry about being shot and can get away with anything.


Make a splash at Hamilton Park

At the North Highlands Neighborhood Association meeting of Dec. 11, the issue came up repeatedly about what can we do to improve Hamilton Park for the residents of the area. In doing the research and follow-up on the question from the residents, we have found information on a splash pad design that was proposed sometime ago.

With what Mayor Tom Henry has publicly supported for the stabilization of neighborhoods, this splash pad would help the resurgence of the Hamilton Park as the gem of the North Highlands Neighborhood and of the surrounding neighborhoods.

I think this project would fit for the funding under Legacy funds for the stabilization of existing neighborhoods. The North Highlands Neighborhood is in transition to a younger demographic with more children in the neighborhood. We need to improve the park for our children and grandchildren.

I would ask if we can get this project back on track and bring a splash pad to Hamilton Park. What do we as a neighborhood and residents of Fort Wayne need to do to make this splash pad a reality for the gem that is named Hamilton Park?

JOHN E. MODEZJEWSKI President, North Highlands Neighborhood Association