Gordon Parks Elementary, a charter school in Kansas City’s urban core, provides some of the city’s most at-risk children a safe, loving and nurturing environment in which to learn.
Because many students have experienced violence and traumas, their method of survival is to retreat behind an invisible suit of armor. This impedes their learning as they have little trust in adults. Anger is the one emotion they often exhibit, both in body language and in overt behavior, which also affects academic progress.
Over time, most students learn to trust their teachers, staff and volunteers. But it can take months and even years of daily patience, care and nurturing.
When trust is restored, children learn to be confident, believe in themselves and perform well on tests. Our sponsor, the University of Central Missouri, believes we are making progress.
Officials visit our school often and want our school to continue. Unfortunately, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has voted to close our school because of low test scores.
Not only have state officials not visited our school, but their decision is based on test scores alone without considering factors that affect test scores.
Mary Ellen Kirtley
Overland Park Gordon Parks a gem
We were deeply saddened to read of the possible closing of Gordon Parks Elementary School and hope the delay on this action will lead to a positive resolution by keeping this excellent facility ongoing.
For 13 years, Gordon Parks Elementary has provided stability and security for students from disadvantaged situations by keeping students with the same classmates and in the same location. Many of them come from Operation Breakthrough.
Paramount in importance is the support and caring of dedicated teachers and administrators who give encouragement and assurance.
True, the state achievement test scores were lower than hoped for. But at what level might they be if not for Gordon Parks?
With these considerations in mind, we hope that Gordon Parks Elementary School will continue as a vibrant place of learning for these young people.
Dorothy M. Brown
Westwood Hills Midwest Voices
Carol Dark Ayres wrote about the value of life in the July 20 issue of The Star, “Value of life trumps others’ rights,”
where she mentioned the killing of Dr. George Tiller, who did late-term abortions. But her example is a poor one.
The late-term abortions that Dr. Tiller did were not done on viable babies. He specialized in doing late-term abortions on babies that developed serious problems and were going to die anyway. An example might be a major organ failure of some type.
Scott Roeder did not know what he was doing.
Late-term abortions must be done correctly if the mother wants to have another child.
Clarence Edmondson Jr.
Kansas City President’s policies
Lewis Diuguid’s Blog Bit on Monday is another pathetic whine. And it only contributes to racial strife.
Yes, some Republicans “hate” President Barack Obama the man, but only the far-right extremists. And the left certainly has its own extremists. Neither I nor any Republicans I know hate the man.
What we hate are Obama’s policies because they are overreaching and dysfunctional and because their costs will cause an undue burden on taxpayers because they always ignore human behavior. For instance, what uninsured person is going to pay several hundred dollars a month for the new health insurance when it’s cheaper to just pay the annual fine?
Most conservatives don’t care what color or gender our president is. In fact, we think Obama is an ethical man, unlike his Democratic predecessor, the skirt-chasing Bill Clinton.
We only care about his policies. And Obama’s policies are disastrous for this country.
So will Diuguid please open his mind a bit and try to stop seeing everything as strictly racial? Because it’s not.
It’s about the policies.
Kansas City Validating fears
President Barack Obama tried to lay a guilt trip on non-color America using the Trayvon Martin case as a trigger (7-20, A1, “Obama opens up on race”).
I lived outside the United States for four years. I represented 1 percent of the population of the city — a very true minority.
I watched mothers grab their children for protection and was shunned, stared at, laughed about, followed and charged four times the price for goods. I was different so I was scary to many of the local people.
Go riot, tear down other people’s property and insult my intelligence, and you validate my fears about being different.
Kansas City Banning firearms
Many letter writers have said the Second Amendment applies to our right to bear AR-15-type weapons and large-capacity magazines and clips. It doesn’t.
The court has ruled that the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. Also, the right is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever, in any manner whatsoever, and for whatever purpose.
The government bans many weapons and can ban many more for the protection of the American people. We can, under the Second Amendment, ban AR-15-type weapons and large-capacity magazines or clips.
Independence Yield-sign amnesia
I’m wondering, does anybody nowadays actually know what a yield sign means?
In case people need a refresher (and I’m sure they still teach this concept in driving school), yield means to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic. That also means you come to a stop for oncoming traffic.
I have seen many near-accidents involving drivers who fail to yield and think they can just merge in front of other drivers without hesitating.
Why law enforcement does not enforce this law and write tickets for violators is beyond me. The local police could set up across from any yield sign in town and ticket countless violations.
This would bring revenue to the city and maybe stop a serious accident just waiting to happen.
So, come on Overland Park Police Department and other police departments in the Kansas City area, start enforcing this blatant disregard for yield signs. Nip it in the bud before somebody ends up being killed and you’re doing reports for a fatality instead of just a violation.
Overland Park Gun control
As Mayor Sly James acknowledged online, “You see, the Missouri Legislature has made it legally impossible for cities like Kansas City or St. Louis to do anything substantive to stem the tsunami of illegal guns into the hands of criminal idiots on city streets.”
Once again, the Missouri Legislature raises its ugly head. Is there anything this legislature does right?
Give Kansas City more power on gun control.
Independence Backward in KC
Here we go. Before the Sprint Center was built, the deal was that we would get a pro team.
Who can tell if Mayor Sly James has any desire to fulfill that commitment made to the people of Kansas City? You never hear a word from him to encourage owners to bring a professional team here.
And stop with the “we do great with the concerts” junk. We see that number dwindle every year. We get millions of dollars from the arena, but we pay more to subsidize the Power Light District.
The notion that a pro team would take away from concert dates is just plain dumb. I realize outsiders believe we were raised in corn fields, but I do believe we have enough sense to schedule a concert when a pro team isn’t playing.
Oklahoma City and Memphis have cornfields, and they have enough sense to figure that out.
This city is so stagnant. No cranes hovering over downtown. Nothing is going on. If you aren’t moving forward, you’re going backward.