Letters to the Editor

Accused coach, low-performing schools, fetal tissue

Eastern Hills Highlanders Cameron Mathis (22) scores a third quarter touchdown as Dunbar beats Eastern Hills 22 to 7 in high school football at Farrington Field in Fort Worth, TX, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015.
Eastern Hills Highlanders Cameron Mathis (22) scores a third quarter touchdown as Dunbar beats Eastern Hills 22 to 7 in high school football at Farrington Field in Fort Worth, TX, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. Star-Telegram archives

Accused coach

Commendations to the excellent reporting of Diane Smith and Jeff Caplan on allegations that Eastern Hills High School coach Johnnie Cole had sexual relations with a student. (“Despite attempts to fire him, coach remains on the job,” Sunday)

After an investigation by the district, Superintendent Kent Scribner recommended termination, but the school board voted the recommendation down.

Thank you to trustees Ashley Paz, Matthew Avila and Jacinto Ramos for voting on the side of child safety.

Shame on the five members who failed to recognize a credible investigation and especially to member Christine Moss, who suggested the alleged victim could have been “paid,” a hurtful and needless thing for her to speculate.

In the 29 years I worked for Child Protective Services in Texas, I learned that recantation is not uncommon in cases of sexual victimization.

My granddaughter is a Fort Worth school district student, and it is our school board’s obligation to make her and all students’ safety their foremost concern. The board failed this obligation, in my opinion.

David Cory, Fort Worth

Low-performing schools

The Texas Education Agency has informed Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent Scribner and school board President Jacinto Ramos Jr. that four of our schools have been rated unsatisfactory for so many years that we are in danger of having them closed, turning them over to a charter operator or having the management of the district taken over by TEA.

To prevent this, the board and administration will be required to attend two 12-hour training sessions held by TEA and implement all required changes.

The four schools are: I.M. Terrell, John T. White and Maude Logan elementary schools, plus Forest Oak Middle School.

Several other urban districts have received similar letters.

On Oct. 25, the board took the first step in remedying this situation by agreeing to undergo the training.

Ann Sutherland, FWISD District 6 trustee,

Fort Worth

Fetal tissue

The proposal that the Texas Department of State Health Services should require that all fetal tissue be disposed of by burial or cremation goes beyond the scope of authority of this agency.

The department is authorized to “administer and provide health services and to administer human services programs regarding public health.”

In other words, it is limited to setting rules that enhance the protection of the health and safety of the public.

Given that medical facilities having been following laws and guidelines to safely, sanitarily and respectfully dispose of all human tissue removed through surgery, labor and delivery, biopsies, etc. for decades, this new proposal does not enhance public safety.

Instead, this proposal is playing politics with women who have miscarriages or choose to end a pregnancy.

The responsibility of DSHS is to enhance public safety, not to promote a political agenda that places an extreme financial and emotional burden on Texas parents.

Cathy Holt, Fort Worth

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