Speaking as a former educator, I can imagine the frustration of the veteran Roberts Middle School teacher who gave the diversity problem to his math classes. It’s the first week of school and a parent goes over his head with a complaint to the building principal. Then, with only the principal actually speaking with the teacher, somehow the Cuyahoga Falls superintendent, social media, the City Council, a common pleas judge and the newspaper are involved, and they all pile on (“ ‘Lesson’ in diversity angers Falls parents,” Aug. 24).

In the view of most educators I’ve talked to, this so-called outrage and internet smear is ridiculous on many levels.

First, there was nothing in the assignment the average 13- to 14-year-old hasn’t been exposed to many times. The judge who referred to “hostile stereotypes” evidently didn’t read the assignment.

Second, there are many reasons an assignment like this could be useful. As stated by the teacher, it would be a useful icebreaker. Kids who don’t feel they are heard and respected don’t ask questions in class. That doesn’t facilitate learning. A veteran teacher knows this and tries to establish an open, inquisitive tone for the classroom during the first few weeks of the year.

The assignment would teach kids to pay attention. The key word in the assignment was “deserving,” as in “which individuals are deserving?” The answer, of course, is that we are all members of one minority group or another and, in fact, all the people listed were deserving.

Which brings us to the concept of the false question. We don’t live in a binary world. There are other solutions to the problem.

Third, teachers are elated when parents and guardians are involved with their children’s education. But realistically, most teachers are working long days at this stage of the school year and may not be able to answer phone calls right away. But they will. And if you are a parent or guardian who believes there’s a problem, please talk to the teacher first. It’s a simple courtesy, chain-of-command thing. If you want a professional teaching your child, treat the teacher like a professional.

Jeff Davis

Akron

Voter fraud? Not a big problem

Regarding the Aug. 29 letter headlined “Protect against voter fraud,” arguing that “voter fraud is a big problem” and supporting the installation of voter ID requirements: I served as chief prosecutor for the city of Akron for 23 years. During all that time I recall the Summit County Board of Elections brought five situations to my office on voting violations.

In each case, the voter was brought in to determine the appropriateness of criminal charges. Upon examination of the circumstances, it was determined that there were innocent explanations for the errors, and the board declined to request prosecution.

Claims of voter fraud are a red herring used by special interest groups to disenfranchise the less fortunate members of our community. To encourage participatory democracy, access to the vote should be made simpler to encourage voting instead of suppressing the vote by creating barriers to voting.

Douglas J. Powley

Akron

Don’t like POWs?

Reflecting upon a president who likes war heroes who don’t get captured, I would like a president who won the popular vote and not one who lost by 3 million votes.

Leonard H. Budd

Stow