Reread Larry Weigle’s letter (“Discipline the disruptive,” Jan. 9). He was tough on discipline. When administrators are afraid to do their jobs because of articles and studies like the one cited, our schools become worse, not better (“Discipline disparity in Akron classrooms,” Jan. 13).
This is a social problem, not a school problem. The article implies that that teachers and administrators are racist. Do you really think that we don’t look at these students as just kids who are desperately in need of some tough love?
Yes, many of these kids need psychological help, and we try our best to make it available to them at school, but that really isn’t our job and must be approved by parents, who sometimes won’t give it.
Look to the parents, lack of intact families and the thug culture prevalent in our society.
Where do you think adult criminals learn their behavior?
If schooling was made a priority in all families, there would be less crime. These statistics are certainly not the fault of the adults who attempt to run schools effectively.
For a classroom teacher, race has nothing to do with referrals; behavior does. Articles like this make administrators afraid to discipline effectively. The students know it and act accordingly.
I have taught in Akron long enough to see that there are more disruptive students every year, regardless of race, who are coming to school unprepared to learn and more willing to act like fools and thugs.
The fact is that these disruptive students make it almost impossible to teach those children who are there to learn. Try looking to the parents (black or white) who never come to interims and often miss discipline meetings at the building level long before their little darlings are sent to the Alternative Academy, which can’t be done without the parents’ approval.
Tamika Williams, while a bit more extreme, is very much like many students in her disregard for authority, the right of other students to learn and the right of teachers to teach.
The officer who tried to talk to her was right in saying that her acting-out was going to lead to a criminal record. Excusing her just because she is troubled doesn’t help anyone, especially her.
Tougher discipline needs to happen at younger ages and at the beginning of the school year, so that the problem is nipped in the bud.
And sending an extreme disciplinary problem student to another school to repeat the behavior is not the answer.
We need to go back to the days when expulsion meant expulsion from the district or sending students to an alternative setting earlier, so those remaining can see the value of a quiet, productive classroom.
Society and communities need to step up to help educators prepare children to succeed at life by instilling a lifelong respect and love of learning. Teachers and administrators can’t do it alone.
Rape cases highlight worldwide problem
As the nation and the world focus on two high-profile cases of alleged sexual assault, one in Steubenville, Ohio, and the other in Gurdaspur, India, there are many survivors and their loved ones who recognize that this is a far too common problem throughout the world.
Media attention in these cases raises awareness about two different types of sexual violence, both profoundly traumatic. One involved an alcohol-facilitated sexual assault, a frequent event in society at large, and the other a deadly assault on a young woman in a public place.
In both cases, bystanders were present, which is not typical in these types of crimes.
Because there is never enough justice for those left in the wake of sexual crimes, the question is not just whether the justice system adequately punishes offenders. How do we prevent rape by changing the mindset of remorseless perpetrators? And finally, how do we encourage bystanders to rise up and stop this violence?
The answer lies in prevention education and by believing survivors.
Over the cliff, without a textbook
What if the formal study of economics (not home economics) was required for all students in secondary schools?
Would the irrational thinking about these “fiscal cliff” matters be reduced and vanish? This type of course is often, at most, an elective that only a few students can or want to take.
If economics was a required course in secondary school, how much better informed would our society be about efforts to reduce or raise the debt and solutions to save our economy and country?
This question now is worth contemplating and answering because our curricula should go beyond reading and math skills. Teaching adolescents financial responsibility is indeed a noteworthy goal, but I believe that they should know more about economics.
The term “Second Amendment rights” is used to justify possession of all sorts of weapons today.
The Constitution refers to the right to bear arms so that an individual could function in a well-regulated militia. In the 1791, the principal “arm” was a musket.
C. Richard Weaver
Support Coventry schools on Feb. 5
For more than six months, the Coventry Local School District has given a million and one reasons to vote for Issue 1 to put a new high school in the community’s future.
Supporters have been totally open and laid the needs on the line.
Coventry Superintendent Rusty Chaboudy has offered tours so residents could see firsthand that buildings are falling apart. He has shown residents why we must regroup, build a new school and reassign elementary students to buildings that are not in disrepair.
All of these improvements can happen for a very small increase in property taxes. For less than the price of a family movie or trip to McDonald’s, Coventry students can have a new, adequate facility.
Some residents have stood in the way of progress, citing superficial reasons not to support the levy. At every turn, they have tried to block Coventry’s chances for a new school.
Think back to your days in school, as well as the days of your children. Voters then stood up to their responsibilities as citizens. They supported their schools.
That’s how in the 1950s, the community built Turkeyfoot Elementary and the current Coventry Middle School. Those voters weren’t wealthy people. They lived on a budget, and many were retired senior citizens, but they had priorities.
Those priorities were the children of their community. Voters then didn’t just “talk a good game.” They proved their loyalty with their votes.
Coventry needs voter support on Feb. 5. All of the surrounding communities have structurally sound, well-maintained, adequate facilities.
As a retired teacher, I urge voters to give our kids the same chance that they or their children had as Coventry students.
No absolute right to own firearms
In 1791, when the Second Amendment was ratified, the phrase “well-regulated militia” referred to the pool of able-bodied men available for conscription.
In the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court specifically stated that the Second Amendment did not limit prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, penalties for carrying firearms in schools and government buildings, or laws regulating the sales of guns.
The court also noted that there was a tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons” that would not be affected.
The current debate over gun safety is a contentious one, with those who support the National Rifle Association using its erroneous interpretation of the Second Amendment.
They claim that everyone can own a weapon of any sort.
There are some who say they want to own assault weapons and body armor because of their fear that the government will take their guns, even though the Supreme Court determined by the 1850s that threat no longer existed.
Even if the government came to take away their guns, these gun owners couldn’t stop it, unless they owned tanks, attack helicopters and the like. And they would still lose.
I hunted animals as a young man. The most powerful weapons we had were shotguns and .22-caliber rifles. I also was trained to hunt men as an Army infantry soldier. The weaponry was assault rifles, hand grenades, surface-to-air missiles and .50-caliber machine guns, to name a few.
So when I hear about people who want to buy military assault weapons and body armor and don’t want to register them, I think the only reason for the purchases is that they are intent on hunting people.
Richard M. Thompson