Letters to the editor

03/19/2014 7:25 AM

03/19/2014 7:25 AM

Legal discrimination

Missouri state Sen. Wayne Wallingford, a Cape Girardeau Republican, has a bill that would give a person the right to refuse service as long as he was “substantially motivated by religious belief.”

My advice is for Missourians to “think important issues through to establish how they affect all citizens.” I recall my growing up days in Mississippi and Tennessee when “separate but equal” treatment for the races was state law.

In practice, “equal” treatment never occurred, but “separate” did. The effect was blacks riding in the rear of public buses, segregated and inferior public schools, limited jobs and educational opportunity for blacks, no entry to white-managed facilities/restaurants. In short, not much for black people. And remember black and white citizens paid taxes toward schools, transportation, etc.

The legal system built by whites in the South of yesteryear obliged the majority to oppress the black minority — to refuse service to anyone as long as the refusal was “substantially motivated by racial hate.”

Robert M. Shettles

Liberty Support KC police

I have been very disappointed to read the cheap shots in the editorial pages at Kansas City Councilmen Scott Taylor and John Sharp and at our outstanding Police Department. The Star seems determined to drag our Police Department, our police chief and their supporters through the mud (2-23, Editorial, “Wake up, KC Council, we have a murder problem”).

It seems to be an attempt to mislead the public into supporting the politicalization of our police by returning them to the control of local politicians. Our Police Department has been free of corruption unlike many other big city departments, and I believe our new chief and police board have developed a solid plan to reduce murders and other violent crimes by targeting known violent criminals.

Let's stand behind our outstanding Police Department, our great new chief and our elected officials who support them and end these cheap attacks and quit throwing rocks at them and give their efforts a fair chance to succeed.

Gary Amerine

Kansas City Questioning college

Tim Wolfe, president of the University of Missouri System, regrets that many now view a college diploma ​ as​ “not worth the paper it is printed on (3-5, Commentary, “Recognize value of higher education.”).” But there are good reasons for skepticism about the value of a college degree — and these reasons are to be found in the colleges themselves.

Grades have been grotesquely inflated for many years, and thus diplomas must decline in value because almost anyone can now get one. With more students receiving “A”s than any other grades, the students themselves may well wonder what a college degree means as a measure of competence.

The students regard B as an average grade. In fact, a college diploma no longer guarantees that the holder can write a literate paragraph or solve a simple equation.

Missouri's initiative to tie college funding to retention and graduation rates will only make a bad situation worse. Pressuring colleges to keep and graduate the unqualified can only accelerate the race to the bottom.

James Obertino

Warrensburg, Mo. Hickman Mills progress

The Hickman Mills School District is designated Consolidated #1 meaning it is the first school district in the state of Missouri to consolidate. From that beginning, the Hickman Mills community has identified with and has been known by its school district, many long years before the community was annexed to become part of Kansas City.

That significant relationship is one reason a recent audit of the district and the behavior exposed of our elected and hired representatives and caretakers is so saddening, disappointing, and “eye opening.”

While individuals serving on our school board “failed” not only to serve our children but the community, we as the community have failed to give the necessary support to our school district. Simply supporting requested operating levies and bond issues is not enough, as the audit shows.

Our school district holds our future in its hands. Without accreditation our children do not receive the education they deserve, people move and our home values continue to decline.

The progress begun by Superintendent Dennis Carpenter can only continue if the community elects responsible individuals who have both “personal and financial integrity” to serve on the Board of Education.

We must support candidates who are dedicated to our school and our community without conflicting agendas or loyalties. We need to attend board meetings to evaluate performances of both the board and the administration and insist on compliance with all laws as well as courtesy, common sense and best practices.

Carol McClure

Jerry Darter

Teresa Edens

Mariann Tow

Judy Swope

Lou Austin

Southern Communities

Coalition

Kansas City

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