Letters to the editor 6/5/14
SEPARATION OF PRAYER AND STATE
Regarding the opinion piece “Exclude me in your prayers,” by James Krohe Jr. in Illinois Times (May 29), I don’t believe anyone’s right to practice their religion would be adversely affected by banning opening prayers in governmental meetings, whether local, state or federal.
On the other hand, such banning would be beneficial by sending a positive message to the increasing numbers of our non-Christian citizens that indeed America is a “melting pot” and that our government is not trying to push the Christian religion down anyone’s throat.
Certainly as is stated in the opinion, nongovernmental units are free to open their meetings with a Christian prayer if that is their choice. However, I would caution even those groups to consider the feelings of any non-Christians in their group before setting a unilateral policy of this nature.
The example given of what would be the reaction among Christians if a community, with a majority non-Christian population, was to start governmental meetings with a non-Christian prayer was an excellent means to point out the fallacy of governments opening meetings with any kind of prayer, be it a Christian or a non-Christian one.
PARENTAL SUPPORT KEY
I must have missed the original article (“What parents need to know about schools,” May 22) but, based on Peter Ellertsen’s Letter to the Editor (May 29), Jeanne Allen must be living on a different planet than we are. Those of us who grew up in the 1940s and 1950s remember the parental support and guidance that most of us received that assured we kept in school and did our homework. And yes, there were students of color back then that excelled in school but they were usually the ones with strong parent or grandparent support. When you see the large number of students that live in homes that have incomes at or below the poverty level, and have irresponsible parents, you wonder how they can concentrate to learn at all.
A lot of success in school is the result of motivation to succeed. I am sure there are some teachers who are not the best but we had those type teachers when I was in school. What students need most is motivation and hope for the future. More of us need to help tutor and mentor these students at risk. Teachers cannot do it alone.
Tyre W. Rees
PARENTS TOO BUSY
Although I applaud Tom Tomorrow (“When guns are everywhere only people with guns will have guns,” May 22) for being brutally honest on the gun issue, I must take exception with the implied deception, of Jeanne Allen’s article “What parents need to know about schools.”
Allen implies that “involved” parents lead to better schools by being actively involved in children’s education. What Jeanne Allen deliberately ignored was the main cause for parents’ lack of involvement.
Until the late 1970s, America was a manufacturing center paying high wages and full benefits to workers. Factory wages were high enough that workers could work their eight-hour shift then go home and put in their family time, secure in the knowledge that their paycheck exceeded their monthly expenses. In summary: Parents could afford to be full-time and to have time for school-related issues.
That was then. This is now.
America no longer produces high-wage factory jobs and far too many workers must hold down multiple (two, three, even more) jobs, just to meet monthly bills. Far too many “homes” are just a place to shower, sleep and occasionally eat. With minimum wage so rampant in America, parent/child/school interaction has plummeted since parents now spend all waking hours working to keep a roof over their family’s heads. This leaves no time for open houses, board meetings and so on.