Tablet Opinion

Letters: Don’t blame teachers; unequal justice; respect for the office

This is in response to Bill Hammond’s op-ed, “Poor education stats demand change.” As an educator for 35 years, I know all too well about the “1 in 5 will graduate from college” statistic.

Hammond says, “If our children are going to be successful in life, the education community is going to have to step up and do better.” But the education community did not bring these children into the world. What Hammond is talking about are cultural and social problems. It stems from a culture of parents that are having children and not taking full responsibility for them.

For the most part, educators are doing the best they can with what they have. But until we reach into the homes of the children that are not being successful in school and make those parents accountable, we will never get to the root of the problem.

Look at the difference in achievement between any Fort Worth ISD high school and Southlake Carroll High School. You will find a huge disparity in the achievement of the students, but little in the abilities and knowledge of the educators.

— Rick Johansen, Colleyville

Unequal justice

When I read about the Ashlee Straker sentencing, it reminded me of how lopsided justice can be.

If a person does something reckless and despicable and ends up killing people, that person needs to be punished — like Straker, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison in the death of his 18-year-old passenger while Straker was driving drunk.

However, if you drink and drive and kill your best friend and you are a Dallas Cowboy, you get a slap on the wrist. Likewise, if you are an indulged teenager who kills four people while driving drunk.

Straker’s appropriately harsh sentence won’t bring the victim back to his family, but at least they and the people of Texas have the satisfaction of knowing he is off the streets.

We all have to live with the sad truth that some killers are still walking freely (or possibly driving) among us. Texans need to get real and get tough with all drunk drivers. Jail time should be mandatory for all intoxication manslaughter convictions.

— Linda B. Morgan, Southlake

Respect for the office

As an American, I am ashamed of how some Texas politicians and people are ridiculing and talking about fighting the presidency and our country. The ads from politicians placating the far right fringe to win votes are a disgrace to all that I have learned about my country.

My uncle died defending this country in World War II. He died fighting against Hitler, and to see the far right put that mustache on our president is extremely offensive to me and should be to all veterans and those of the “Greatest Generation.”

We can disagree with our leaders and country, but we do not mock or fight them. That is not patriotic, it is subversive.

By mocking our president, you are mocking all those who have held that office from Washington to conservative favorites Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

I did not agree with either Reagan or Bush’s policies, but I respected them as the leaders of my country. I am an American!

Shame on all the people and politicians who partake in this unpatriotic and un-American way! Intelligent debate and compromise made this country great, not idiotic slurs and war against the government.

— Robert Parker, Fort Worth

Belief and bigotry

Bigoted attitudes are intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

Often opinions are derived from religious beliefs.

Prejudice is a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason.

Basic religious beliefs are not based on reason, otherwise you would not need faith.

Someone running a business that discriminates against people with different opinions can reasonably be called bigoted.

People are free to believe any irrational thing they want. Their “religious beliefs are safe.” Acting on irrational beliefs can cause problems.

Some countries have groups similar to what is called the Taliban who want to pass laws to force everyone to follow particular religious beliefs and punish even with death those who offend anyone holding the irrational beliefs.

I prefer not to live in those places and do not want similar activity here.

— C. J. Ransom,

Colleyville

Letters

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E-mail (preferred): letters@star-telegram.com; Fax: 817-390-7688

Regular mail: Letters to the Editor, Box 1870, Fort Worth TX 76101

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