Letters to the Editor

School suspensions, suing California, border war

Updated: 2014-02-14T00:41:11Z

Excessive suspensions

News of excessive use of school suspensions brings up the problem but not the solution.

If we truly want to change the school environment and provide an educational atmosphere for the students, the community together with the school district will find a way to implement restorative discipline in the schools.

This approach requires putting in place practices that help reduce conflict and, if it does occur, indicate how it can be handled with suspensions as the primary tool.

The Community Mediation Center has the knowledge and skill to do this. We just need to make it happen. Other parts of the country are doing it and have proven results.

Rose McLarney

Kansas City

Fixing KC schools

After reading the Feb. 10 commentary by Ethan Gray, “Let teachers lead so KC schools can succeed,” about the CEE-Trust plan for the unaccredited Kansas City Public Schools, I realized the company’s plan would be great for any district.

CEE-Trust wants to put educators in control of what goes on at local schools.

Unfortunately in Missouri, all of our public schools are choking under the weight of the outlandish and sometimes utterly ridiculous requirements put upon them by the state school board, which is made up of people appointed by the governor — many of whom have no educational background.

Doesn’t make much sense, does it?

Kristi White

Blue Springs

Koster suit debate

The Star unfortunately sides with radical animal activists in opposing Attorney General Chris Koster’s lawsuit against California (2-6, Editorial, “Koster is off the mark with bad egg lawsuit”).

It’s an utterly undemocratic position because California’s law forcing mandates on Missouri egg farmers was passed by legislators who are wholly unaccountable to Missouri citizens.

The trouble started in 2008 when the radical Humane Society of the United States and other PETA-like groups pushed a ballot initiative in California that would bankrupt the state egg industry.

Lawmakers then tried to level the playing field by forcing the same regulations onto farmers in other states. It’s blatant economic protection and anti-free trade.

The Star may like the “reasonable” standard in the California law, but feel-good outcomes don’t supersede the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Kudos to Koster for standing up to California. If he didn’t, it would set a bad precedent that California can run roughshod over the rest of the country.

Will Coggin

Senior Research Analyst

Center for

Consumer Freedom

Washington, D.C.

I’m disappointed that Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is wasting Missourians’ hard-earned taxpayer money to sue California over its cruelty-to-animals laws.

California law doesn’t affect Missouri unless egg farmers are interested in selling there.

If they aren’t, they don’t have to change a thing. If they do want to sell all the way to California, they simply have to treat their animals better, which is a good thing anyway.

Mr. Koster should focus on Missouri and not use the state’s tax dollars to go after states thousands of miles away.

As The Kansas City Star Feb. 6 editorial said, his thinking appears to be scrambled.

Parendi Birdie

Lawrence

Ongoing border war

The Star’s Feb. 12 editorial, “Making progress to end the border war,” said, “At least the border war finally has the attention of leading politicians in both states.”

It may have Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s attention, but he does not lead the Missouri legislature.

As for Kansas, tax cuts are the core development policies for both Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature. Cut taxes, and economic prosperity will benefit everywhere. So why not on the border?

What does The Star expect when it calls for stopping “the silliness of the border war”?

Republican legislators in control of the two states don’t see tax-cut competition as silliness. They believe it leads to prosperity.

As applied to our region, their economic beliefs say that maximum tax cuts from border war competition will create an ideal environment for prosperity.

Scott Michie

Overland Park

Cheering Missourian

As a Missourian and a Missouri Tigers fan, I was proud to hear of Mizzou defensive lineman Michael Sam’s courageous decision to pave the way for gay professional athletes by coming out in advance of the NFL draft (2-10, A1, “MU star announces he’s gay”).

Sam’s announcement to an industry still characterized by widespread homophobia took exactly the kind of guts and strength he has shown on the football field.

Unfortunately, Michael Sam’s brave act may have put his employment prospects at risk, not only because of the culture of his profession but also because of the law. In 29 states, including Missouri, individuals can be fired from their jobs for being gay.

As a Missourian who believes in our state motto that “the welfare of the people shall be the supreme law,” I condemn such discrimination.

Michael Sam, I celebrate you, and I call upon our state and national legislators to support you and countless other hardworking Missourians and Americans by passing the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act and the National Employment Nondiscrimination Act, extending human rights protections to our LGBTQ communities.

Level the playing field for our athletes and for all of us, and then we’ll have true cause to cheer.

Rev. Molly Housh Gordon

Columbia

Angelman syndrome

Nearly 50 percent of individuals with Angelman syndrome, a severe neurogenetic disorder, were originally misdiagnosed.

Of those individuals, more than 70 percent waited one year or longer before receiving the proper diagnosis. During this time, the opportunity to receive essential treatments and therapies was lost.

As the parent of a child with Angelman syndrome, I can tell you about the agony behind these unacceptable statistics. My son, Luke, is a happy person with a positive demeanor, and he is always smiling.

Smiling is one of the traits of Angelman syndrome, as are life-threatening seizures (if not properly treated), significant developmental delays and lack of speech.

I was told many things by doctors while seeking a diagnosis for my son, including, “I’m sure he will start talking once he gets tubes in his ears,” and “He is just a little behind in development.”

Saturday will be the first International Angelman Day.

Please help educate families and medical professionals about Angelman syndrome by directing them to angelman.org, where they can find and share information and connect to resources.

It will ensure that our loved ones with this disorder get the crucial treatments they need as early as possible.

Cathy Jurgensmeyer

Leawood

Cheers for Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart employees often get bad publicity, but a few months ago one of them, Patty at the 133rd Street and State Line Road store, went above and beyond the responsibilities of her job.

I called frantically three hours after leaving 12 small batteries, the receipt and my husband’s business credit card in a sack in a cart in the parking lot. I had loads of groceries in my recycled bags to put in my car and ignored the Wal-Mart bag in the cart.

Patty first checked the office for the sack, but with no luck, and then offered to go to the parking lot to check the carts. I was shocked. She determined which cart corral I had used and returned.

To my amazement, all was there. My thanks to Patty and her kindness for going the extra distance in human kindness and effort.

Being a frequent shopper and walker at this store, I see that the employees there seem to care a lot about their customers.

My special thanks to all of those who go out of their way to be friendly and tell a good joke every day. But special thanks to Patty, whom I had never met until that day.

Channy Gotfredson

Kansas City

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