Letters to the Editor

Students’ smartphones are out of control in classrooms

West High students weigh in on school’s cellphone policy

Students at Wichita West High School talk about the use of smartphones at school and how they would feel if USD 259 made rules regarding phones more strict. (Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle)
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Students at Wichita West High School talk about the use of smartphones at school and how they would feel if USD 259 made rules regarding phones more strict. (Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle)

Not being smart with smartphones

Parents, monitor your children’s smartphones. Please. I cannot compete. Most of my students cannot or will not put them away. When our district adopted its “Bring Your Own Technology” policy, things changed.

Two years ago, I persuaded my principal to purchase the Yondr lockable pouch that some performers use at concerts and schools use to prevent cellphone use. I believe if we would have adopted this policy schoolwide, it might have been more successful.

I’ve had students walk out of class or cuss me out before relinquishing their phones. I have very little support from parents. The day a student shared pornography via a smartphone in my class, I decided it was time to retire.

I feel as if I’ve been asked to switch from teaching to policing the use of phones. After 28 years, I’m looking for a new career.

Julie Horner,


Free stuff here, everyone, free stuff

Wow. What a surprise. Cynthia M. Allen’s column April 19 noting Beto O’Rourke’s uncharitable giving is laughable. (17A, “‘Beto’ O’Rourke’s uncharitable giving”)

It’s always easier to give away somebody else’s money. Bring on socialism, Bernie and Beto, and then we can all line up for “free” everything.

Lee S. Anderson,

Fort Worth

Stephens was a source of passion

Herb Stephens Jr. was the reason I attended basketball games my last two years at Texas Christian University. (April 21, 1B, “Longtime ISD administrator Herb Stephens Jr. dies”)

He was this red-headed force of nature TCU coach Johnny Swaim brought into the game for the last five minutes of the first half and the final five minutes of the game. He ran full speed and was constantly diving for the ball. He was reckless and passionate. And fun to watch.

The blood on his elbows and knees from his dives for the ball elevated what dedication meant. Most of all, we could see the pure joy in his eyes whenever he was on the court.

He energized the fans and his teammates. The Frogs finished with a 15-9 record that 1971-72 season and tied for third in the old Southwest Conference.

Learning of Herb’s passing reminds me to raise my level of “leaving it all on the court” — the court of life.

John Fletcher,


Kellehar has her priorities straight

I read recently of the great progress being made in the excavation of part of Gateway Park near the dog park. The excavated oxbows are to catch water from the Trinity River during heavy storm runoff to prevent flooding — flooding in Arlington and Dallas, that is.

You see, when the river is straightened to add pizzazz to the so-called Panther Island project, the water will run faster and the increased volume could flood cities downstream. Hence the flood-control project. Fort Worth taxpayers are bearing the brunt of the exorbitant cost.

Maybe it’s time to elect new blood before we’re bankrupt. Vote Mary Kelleher for Tarrant Regional Water District board of directors.

Clyde Picht,

Fort Worth

Trump’s action worth more

A Tuesday letter writer disparaged President Donald Trump for his “uncharitable giving.” (15A) I would remind her that he donates his entire salary to charity. Beto O’Rourke claims his presence is his charitable donation, which is ludicrous and pretty hilarious.

I’m not interested in tax returns — just in actions and results, which our president has delivered despite harassment from the left.

Connie Cranford,