Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss makeup of the Supreme Court and contrasting punishments

Too uniform

Am I seeing something wrong here: the possible addition of a fifth Republican Catholic-raised male, four of them white, to the Supreme Court, if Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed?

Whatever happened to diversity in the judicial system of our United States? This situation needs some very serious thought on the part of the American people.

Let your senators and representatives know your thoughts. We must protect our democracy from a loaded Supreme Court.

Larry R. Moss


Misplaced target

I am a 1976 Rockhurst High School graduate. I was distressed to read the Sept. 10 story about the personal trauma experienced by Kelly Gerling during his time at the school 50 years ago when he was forced by a vice principal to wrestle another student. (1A, “Alum calls for public apology”)

It’s unfortunate that there are people who, decades later, still carry the emotional scars of their high school experience. It’s unfortunate that in this particular instance, Gerling is manipulating the searing, relevant issue of sexual abuse to suit his own personal agenda.

Yes, there was a time when corporal punishment existed in schools in this country. But the fact that this type of punishment recedes further and further in time demonstrates how we have progressed as a society and nothing more.

Sexual abuse, on the other hand, is a grievous crime no matter the generation, no matter how far back in time one goes. I feel sorry for Gerling for not understanding that, and The Kansas City Star shouldn’t be perpetuating his misguided cry for personal justice.

Tom Bickimer


Nurses’ worth

As a registered nurse, I support the potential nursing strike at Research Medical Center and Menorah Medical Center. (Sept. 8, 8A, “Proposed nurses strike could postpone some surgeries”)

Nurses play a pivotal role in the health care system, but tend to be overworked and underpaid. Patient safety becomes a concern when facilities require nurses to work extended hours and additional shifts.

Hospitals should provide the staffing for a safe work environment for their patients, but also for their staff. A nursing strike seems to be a last-resort attempt to get the fair and well-deserved attention of the administration.

There are approximately 3.1 million nurses in the U.S., and at least 72,000 in Missouri, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A lack of nurses is not the issue. Rather, it’s a matter of administrators’ support.

In order to drive up patient satisfaction scores, administrators must start with the fair treatment of their nursing staffs.

Seabrin Jensen

Kansas City

On the other hand

The Star’s recent story on a proposed nursing strike at two area hospitals discusses the reasons the strike may take place, but does not touch on the potential harm that could be caused.

In his article, reporter Andy Marso mentions that surgeries may be postponed, but there would be a much bigger ripple effect if these nurses went on strike. Other things that could be at risk include the patient care, finances and the hospital’s reputation.

The 2010 report, “Do Strikes Kill? Evidence from New York State” in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy found that actions have a negative effect on a hospital’s patient safety. There has been no mention if these hospitals will be equipped to handle patient care should a strike take place.

As a nurse, and someone who is studying to be a nurse practitioner, this is of great concern. I hope that The Star would also educate the public of the harms that a potential nursing strike could bring to the community.

Shannon Meyer

Kansas City