Letters to the Editor

Readers react to teacher merit pay, LGBT legislation and wage fairness

Teacher merit pay

Merit pay for teachers has been a hot topic for a long time. I wrote a paper about merit pay in 1968, which was also the first year I became a teacher.

At that time, I strongly favored it. In the years since, I have been employed as a teacher, coach and administrator in several schools in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

After all my years in education, I am against merit pay because it has become a political tool in the war on teachers unions.

The national Republican Party as well as Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback are using this issue to attack the unions because unions generally support liberal Democrats.

Teachers unions realize there is really no way to be fair in merit pay or to judge the merit of each teacher. There are just too many factors.

Teachers in high-achieving schools might be less effective than teachers who work in low-achieving schools. This would lead to more funds going to the already rich suburban districts and less to inner cities.

Republican neighborhoods get more money and Democrat areas less.

Let local districts decide whether they want merit pay, and keep the state out of those decisions.

Richard Tatro

Kansas City, Kan.

Transgender bills

I’m not surprised state Sen. Ed Emery, a Lamar Republican, is frightened by transgendered people using bathrooms that he thinks they don’t have a right to enter (2-1, A1, “LGBT fight stalls in Missouri”).

I’m sure he would have been frightened when African-Americans started using “whites only” water fountains or began sitting at lunch counters, where he would have thought they didn’t belong, or when a person with HIV entered a room he was in.

But the timorous Mr. Emery concocts bizarre scenarios, imagining transgender perverts lurking to molest our daughters, as his rationale for discrimination. He expects to sort everyone’s bathroom privileges by their personal plumbing, not by who they truly are.

I’m not sure whether he wants to be that plumbing inspector at the door of every public bathroom, but perhaps he should look into that as his next career path.

Meanwhile, could we get Mr. Emery a private bathroom at the Capitol — one that locks on the outside only — so we can keep him a safe distance from rational people in the General Assembly who are trying to work through the difficult details of actual issues?

Steve Porter

Cleveland, Mo.

Wage fairness

In America, where individuals such as Charles and David Koch are reportedly worth $36 billion each, I find it reprehensible that any employee has to demonstrate in search of a minimum wage of $15 per hour.

When did we lose sight of fairness and what’s equitable? Maybe our society needs a very active Robin Hood.

Charles Ballew

Kansas City

Police to rescue

I take my German shepherds to Swope Park early every morning. I am a dog trainer and enjoy walking and training my dogs. I recently found myself being rapidly approached by a loose, not friendly pit bull.

My German shepherd male was not aware of the dog. He was on a tracking leash, nose to the ground. At this point, I shortened the leash and tried to get away, pepper spray in hand.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a police car changed its course and was in hot pursuit. Sound equipment blasting, it chased the pit bull through the open field away from us.

The police officer was aware of the situation and came to our rescue. It was a miracle.

The police officer appeared at the right time when help was needed badly. Man’s best friend is a dog. In this case, dog’s best friend was the Kansas City police officer.

He deserves a medal for going out of his way to prevent a dangerous confrontation.

Animal Control was informed. Many thanks again.

Anne Mackey

Kansas City

Rude at concert

Thank you, Air Supply, for such an enjoyable concert Jan. 29 at Ameristar Kansas City. You guys were great.

I’m just sorry that some people in the crowd were so rude. Really, they couldn’t simply enjoy the music for a couple hours? They had to make 97 trips to the bar?

Then, some couples got loud, obnoxious and mouthy. If they wanted to drink and yell (it was talking, only they were yelling to be heard over the performers), they should have gone someplace else.

Mary Ballard

Kansas City