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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, February 07, 2018 1:00 am


Victory – but not for all

I was disappointed to read that our legislature has again failed to pass a hate crime bill, giving Indiana the dubious distinction of being one of only five states not to have such a law. The need for this law should have been clear after testimony on the New Haven hate crime in which a white teen was sentenced to only 30 days at Wood Youth Center for the brutal beating of an African-American teen.

Even more disheartening is that the sticking point for Republicans seems to be the inclusion of gay or transgender people in the law. By bowing to pressure from self-righteous conservative groups, our representatives are doing a disservice to our state and, once again, making Indiana a less-welcoming place.

This is being celebrated as a victory by groups such as the American Family Association of Indiana and the Indiana Family Institute, which states its mission as presenting “biblical principles” and being a “voice for traditional families.” Evidently their definition of a traditional family is straight, white and Christian, and the “biblical” principles they are presenting appear to be ignorance, hate and prejudice.

Barb Foland Mathews

Fort Wayne


Choice Scholarships give Hoosier kids a future

At the end of her Jan. 22 column opposing school choice, Phyllis Bush asks rhetorically, “Whose choice is it, anyway?” Respectfully, it's my choice.

I am a proud graduate of Bishop Luers High School and a former recipient of the Indiana Choice Scholarship, or school voucher, as many commonly refer to it. My Bishop Luers education was challenging, but it prepared me for where I am today, studying optometry at Indiana University Bloomington.

When I started at Luers, I was confident that I was ready for high school – until I took my first big high school exam. Unfortunately, I was behind my peers academically. Through a lot of hard work, and with the support of some great teachers, I was able to catch up and forge ahead.

Without the Choice Scholarship, for which I'm truly grateful, I never would've been able to attend my alma mater. Choice Scholarships also assisted my three younger siblings.

One of my younger sisters went through public school until seventh grade, but they were not assisting her and her needs. She is a bright and hardworking young lady, but like many other students has a disability that affects the way she learns. Without all the help she has been granted from Bishop Luers and Indiana Choice, she also would not be where she is today in her education. With the more personalized help she receives and one-on-one time she gets, she has become more confident in her education and future.

I didn't write this letter to try to change Bush's mind about school choice; but I hope she'll remember that choice in Indiana is about making a quality education available to all Hoosier kids, no matter their family income or ZIP code.

Politics aside, is there really anything more important than their futures?

Reyna Rodriguez

Fort Wayne

Savings come at a cost

Garbage collection is a time-of-year problem (Furthermore, Jan. 27)? That is an excuse the government can use, but in the private sector, you are fired. Never mind this firm provided a low bid but was totally unprepared with a competent workforce to do the job.

Nonetheless, I should be happy because the city saved money and my rates will only go up $2 because it could have been more. Thank you, Fort Wayne.

Michael Watkins 

Fort Wayne