Let’s Talk About Sex (Education)
In response to your story about sex ed (“Let’s Talk About Sex (Ed),”), I applaud that some schools and grassroots are instructing sex education and abstinence awareness, but I feel that neither party has addressed the fact that sex education is strongly affected by religious and socioeconomic influence that extend beyond public education. Awareness of sexual health is first and foremost a private matter. It has to be taught and reinforced by a home that has taken a stance, or picked a side, on various issues regarding sex and society. Sex education is as relative as religion and politics; families must take a stronger role, because public education can only go so far.
Loi An Le
An Educator’s Responsibility
Thank you so much for “Haiti: From Charity to Justice” by Kevin LaMastra. I believe that as educators, it is our responsibility to help students understand the complexity of issues like poverty, race, and politics, as well as how they are intertwined. If we truly hope to create caring, educated leaders who can lead us all to a better future, then there is nothing more powerful we can do than "move from talking about charity to working for justice.”
Charters and Unions
As a thirteen-year retiree with a lifetime membership in all three levels of union membership, I found the article “Identity Crisis” most interesting. My take on charter school success is that it depends a great deal on parent involvement. This is true for suburban and inner city schools. I taught in both settings, but the bulk of my career was spent in the inner city. Most of the school year was 50+ hour weeks, and believe me, you could be expected to supply—with your own money—almost everything. I have been so grateful for Association support and protection. Charter schools need them also.
Punished for Protecting Their Kids
I read with interest “Suspended in Seattle” concerning the suspension of the special education teachers. I am writing to express my support for these two women. My grandson is in a special class, such as was portrayed in the article, and I sympathize with their concern that the children are tested in such a manner. As their cognitive abilities are so limited, it seems ridiculous to attempt such a thing.If my grandson were in their class, I would have protested as the parents did. Let's hope that all teachers have as much common sense.
Return to Normalcy After a Student Dies
In the last five years, our small rural community has lost nine children (“Lessons in Loss,”). While I appreciate the need for the students to have their time to grieve, I totally agree with the statements about closure and final dates for memorials. By stretching out the grieving process, the students sometimes use it as an excuse to let their schoolwork slide.
Lake Butler, FL
Closing the Achievement Gaps
I am excited to see a school that works with both parent involvement and focused instruction (“Building a Better School,”), and understands that meetings for Hispanic parents in Spanish or bilingually presented help both students and parents prepare for the future.
Dr. Dianne Abrams
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