I read with considerable attention the Jan. 17 article on civility (“Politicians promote a more civil society”).
Some time ago, I was privileged to hear one of the participants, state Sen. Frank LaRose, speak at a meeting of Akron PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), where his interest and listening ability quickly became apparent.
His references to the good influences of his parents were of special importance to me, since I, too, am grateful for parents who passed on their values of honesty, hard work and tolerance of others.
LaRose “naturally ended up partnering with people on both sides of the aisle.” The word “naturally” strongly suggests that LaRose learned early in his life the values of good listening and consideration of others’ opinions (the essence of civility) and that values, for good or ill, are best learned from attentive parents early on.
Since not every child is blessed with parents who themselves have received good values to pass on, some of this societal burden comes to rest on the schools, both public and private.
There is considerable overlap between civility and character, so that good character traits learned early in life will produce a decent sense of civility, perhaps even better than current adult efforts.
Since the virtue of civility is the hallmark of a free society, its promotion and support are of vital importance to our well-being.
To supplement current efforts to build civility at the adult level, I respectfully urge our legislators and school officials to consider extension of the Character Counts program to public schools nationwide. It recognizes trustworthiness, respect for others, responsibility, fairness, caring for others and good citizenship.
Although slow in coming, the resulting civility, citizenship and sturdy character will be well worth the effort.
Henry Robert Menapace
Without dignity or respect
In response to the editorial regarding Mayor Don Plusquellic and Councilman Russel Neal Jr. (“Past time to meet,” Jan. 28), while I agree that the mayor’s policies have benefited the citizens of Akron, I believe that his governing style has been tyrannical.
Over the years I have seen his cruel treatment of Greg Coleridge, Warner Mendenhall, the Rev. John Beatty, Bruce Kilby and Councilman Mike Williams.
Instead of the Akron Beacon Journal holding the mayor accountable for his lack of diplomacy in dealing with people, the newspaper has given the mayor a pass to continue his Machiavellian governing style.
There is no need for Neal to meet with Plusquellic. If the mayor wants to resolve the shoving incident, all he has to do is start treating people with dignity and respect.
We should keep in mind that the mayor is not a prince but the elected representative of the people of the city of Akron.
John A. Fuller Jr.
Unacceptable Common Core
Common Core standards were enacted by the progressive movement to take over education, removing authority from the states and placing it with the federal government. That is unconstitutional.
If the central planners and progressive bureaucrats get their way, teaching the Constitution will be a thing of the past.
Common Core is unacceptable. The top-down, bureaucratic takeover of local schools must be stopped. Common Core will dumb-down education, collect data on kids and their families and leave kids behind in the global economy.
Since Washington politicians started running our schools, costs have exploded for taxpayers and kids’ test scores have decreased.
Q: How many Browns’ coaches does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. Browns’ coaches don’t last as long as light bulbs.
Liberty and opportunity
What’s all this talk about equality? What about the oath to uphold the Constitution? Our Constitution says nothing about equal outcomes, only liberty and opportunity. People left their kings, rulers and dictators to escape equality. There is no Statue of Equality. It’s a Statue of Liberty.
Fifty years of programs to make people equal have made more people dependent on government for their survival. The truth is, we are not born equal. We are born un-equal. Everyone has their own deficiencies to overcome.
It should be obvious that government promises of equality are cruel lies. If we can make so many people dependent, why can’t we develop programs to help them be independent contributors. That’s the idea (liberty) that made us great.
Our Founding Fathers had it right. With liberty, everyone is free to achieve his or her level of talent and ability, not the level dictated by a government. Motivation, not the government, is the only true equalizer.