Your Views for December 20


Regarding teachers

In light of the heroic actions of the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, it is time for the debate about the “worthiness” of teachers to consider that which is never discussed. In any school situation, it is the teacher’s INSTINCT to protect her students. Fire, tornado, tsunami, hurricane, flood or homicidal maniac, the vast majority of teachers will do everything to insure the safety of the students under his or her care. That is their training and their motivation.

What can be so askew in the local, state and federal dialogue about teachers that the “government” — i.e. the policymakers — would not give teachers, who would willingly put their lives on the line for our children, a decent living wage, security from whimsical firing and respect? What is the mythical priority that overrides everything?

Two words: Test scores.

Is there anyone so cold-hearted who upon hearing about the teachers who sacrificed their lives and the others who risked theirs for the sake of their students, would have for one moment thought, “Heroes? Maybe. What were their students’ test scores?”

Gov. Abercrombie: Your deceased mother, a longtime teacher, is watching you and how you treat Hawaii’s teachers in your “negotiations.” What would she think of your stance?

Natec Harijan

Keaau

Stop the killing

Mr. President: Every word in your Dec. 14 statement on the tragic shooting of school children and teachers in Connecticut rang true, and your show of emotion for the loss of innocent life was moving. You spoke from the heart, expressing the words and emotions of a nation grieving.

My family understands the pain involving the loss of a child. I had a sister, named Judy, who died at the age of 3.

What I don’t understand is that you personally — and we as a nation — do not share the same feelings and emotions over the loss of innocent lives (collateral damage), many who are children, from ongoing U.S. drone strikes and U.S. war policies in countries around the world. To the parents of the children killed by our drones, etc., the killings are as senseless and tragic as the shootings in the Connecticut school.

Are the lives of children killed by the U.S. abroad any less precious than the lives of children killed at home? Where are your tears, and the tears of our nation, for the deaths of the thousands upon thousands of innocent children killed in our name?

U.S. killings resulting from presidential “kill lists” and U.S. wars have got to stop. Otherwise, the killing we export will continue returning, like chickens coming home to roost.

Indeed, “May God bless the memory of the victims. And in the words of scripture, ‘Heal the broken hearted and bind up their wounds.’” But let us stop the killing. Let us repent of our collective violence, at home and abroad. Let us “mourn all victims of violence,” as we say in each one of our 586 weeks of our ongoing Friday peace vigils at the downtown Hilo Post Office.

Jim Albertini

Kurtistown

 

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