Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers disucss a shaky Puerto Rico solar plan, Mark Bedell and the Bible

Well cared for

My dad is a 95-year-old World War II veteran and former prisoner of war. He recently spent two nights at the Kansas City VA Medical Center. The level of care was first class.

I know there are vets who have had less-than-perfect care, but as far as my dad and I are concerned, everybody involved with attending to his needs has been more than kind and respectful.

Thanks to all veterans and their caregivers.

Robert M. Rusher

Shawnee

With the wind

The green revolution is on. Puerto Rico is solving its electrical grid problems by installing expensive solar panels on many homes and businesses.

But a huge number of the roofs those panels will be installed on blew away in Hurricane Maria. That doesn’t sound like such a solid investment to me.

Ron Davidson

Lexington, Mo.

Help them focus

Having taught kindergarten and Head Start since 1970 (with a three-year break), I am strongly in favor of Mayor Sly James’ idea for high-quality pre-kindergarten for all Kansas City children.

James’ reasoning that those without pre-K will have a lot of catching up to do is too true. An equally important reason is the time stolen from the rest of the students while teaching those who have never learned to sit still and focus as instructions are given, demonstrations explained, supplies are provided and so on.

I’ve had whole classes miss up to a fourth of the year’s curriculum because of the time required to settle down those crying for their moms, running about the classroom, crawling under tables, touching, pushing or grabbing their neighbors. These behaviors steal precious learning time from the students who had learned these skills in good pre-K classes.

Once, out of curiosity and frustration, I placed a handful of rubber bands on my left wrist and moved one to my right arm every time one particular kindergartner disrupted the class. At the end of 30 minutes, I counted 17 bands on my right wrist.

Jill Schumacher

Independence

Kept out unjustly

If the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas wants to lock out the child of a gay couple, then the archbishop needs to terminate the employment of any priest who is gay. (March 7, 1A, “Petition asks Catholic school to rethink decision to bar same-sex couple’s child”)

If that occurred here, there would be no ordained clergy to preside over a ritual central to the faith.

And if the Catholic Church had banned Hispanic families in my day, then my brothers and I would not have gotten the first-class education our parents paid for in Brooklyn.

Gene Roman

Bronx, N.Y.

Until a few days ago, I was a proud alum of St. Ann Catholic School in Prairie Village. I’m still grateful for the wonderful education I had there, but I’d like to burn my diploma after hearing of the shameful decision by parish leadership to refuse to admit the young child of gay parents.

When I went to St. Ann, we were instilled with strong social justice values by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. We raised money for needy children and parishes in other countries. We took field trips to feed the hungry. We collected clothing for the poor. We visited nursing homes.

So it shocks me that this once-wonderful parish is now an example of institutional bigotry.

Parish leaders are shaming an innocent child. That’s not pro-life. It’s the worst form of discrimination.

I applaud the parishioners and other area Catholics who signed the petition asking the archdiocese to reverse its decision. I thank them for bringing this shameful decision to our attention. Please continue speaking out.

Anne Ryan Pritchett

Overland Park

Consistency’s sake

When President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, the Republican majority in the Senate did not give him even a hearing because we would have a new president within a year.

The Star’s Wednesday editorial asked why outgoing Kansas City Public Schools board members should be allowed to renegotiate Superintendent Mark Bedell’s contract, when a new board will be elected in April. (14A, “Why are departing KC school board members renegotiating the superintendent’s contract?”)

If only Bedell were being nominated for the Supreme Court, there would be no question about waiting for the new board. The Star is apparently endorsing the Senate Republicans’ position.

Michael Grabowski

Kansas City

Bible study

Although I believe every educated person in our society should have some knowledge of the Bible, a March 5 letter to the editor illustrates the reasons that such teaching does not belong in the public schools. (9A)

It is clear from the author’s reasoning — that Bible study would help inculcate values — that she wants it to be taught for devotional purposes, not as an academic discipline.

A true academic approach to the Bible would be opposed to a literal interpretation. For example, the Noah story would be taught not as a historical event but rather as a rewrite of the Epic of Gilgamesh. I am sure many parents would not be happy with that approach.

The letter also claims that Bible study might be a way to decrease violence in schools. But the Bible is full of violent episodes. The Book of Judges is a literary masterpiece, but many of its stories would be considered R-rated material. Moreover, would some teachers seek to undermine science departments by taking literal approaches to the Bible?

Let’s leave Bible study to the houses of worship. School boards have enough controversies already.

Stu Lewis

Prairie Village

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