Letters to the Editor
Where we teach— Wyoming
Thank you for the wonderful article on American Indian students (“Save the Indian, Save the Child,” November/December). This wonderful school holds high interest for me. My mother taught at the first Arapahoe Government School in Wyoming and held her students very dear to her heart. I remember lots of stories of how she tried to protect her students from the government nurses who would come in and cut off the childrens’ hair or be rude to them. She taught the kids to run when she saw the [government] car coming down the dirt road. She told of how smart and wonderful the children were, and how caring the community was to her!
I would like to say great job on the article about hip-hop in the classroom (“Yo! From Tupac to the Bard,” November/ December). I think it suggests some really solid and constructive ways to use the music in the classroom and also hints at the reasons not to fear rap in general. I’m sending it around to everyone I know.
East Brunswick, New Jersey
A new awareness of child labor
Thank you for the article about the anti-dropout program in Fez, Morocco (“Reclaiming Lives,” November/December). My wife (currently a teacher) and I (a recently retired teacher) just returned from Morocco in November. Immersed in our journey as a “vacation,” we played the typical role of tourists by strolling and shopping through the old medina in Fez as well as Marrakech. Though we encountered countless school-age children, we did not fully realize their plight as laborers as acutely as we could have if we had read your article first. Many of the children acted as our escorts and, of course, payment was expected and we obliged. Unwittingly—on several levels, it seems—we were supporting the drop-out phenomenon. We are now interested in ways we can help their plight or at least contribute directly to the Fez program.
Martin and Jean Marie Van Dine
Garden Grove, California
I decide who gets my vote
I did not join NEA to have you decide for whom I should cast my vote. It saddened me to see your November/December cover emblazoned with a picture of Obama. Good teachers know to encourage students to explore all the issues, gather necessary facts, and make their own decisions. I have a college degree. I can read. I have access to radio and television to listen to debates and presentations by the candidates. Be responsible journalists: Present information, but don’t tell me how to vote.
Stand up for school nurses!
As a school nurse, I was very happy to read “Where Have All the Nurses Gone?” (November/December). I do not understand, however, why NEA considers school nurses to be “Education Support Professionals” and not educators. In the two school districts where I have worked, school nurses are considered instructional personnel—as they should be. We educate students, staff, faculty, administrators, parents, and the community at large on a daily basis. Many school nurses formally teach health classes, and I hope that NEA will consider changing its classification of school nurses.
Land o’ Lakes, Florida
Share your ideas, comments, and opinions with NEA Today. Write to Letters, NEA Today, 1201 16th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20036. Or send an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send an email by fax: (202) 822-7206 Letters are edited for length and clarity.