Oklahoma City; Homegrown talent; and more

The Gazette letters Published: December 13, 2013 | 12:00 am 0

Travesty on education and educators

We are shocked about a 6-year-old boy kissing a girl's cheek and later her fingers, being labeled sexual harassment. I have been an educator for 50 years and watched with horror the misdevelopment of human sexuality in our schools. In my files, I have articles from Maryland where 166 elementary students including three preschoolers, 16 kindergartners and 16 first-graders were suspended for sexual harassment. Likewise in Virginia, 255 elementary students and in Texas a 4-year boy were dismissed for sexual harassment. Everyone should consider these atrocious acts as having a potential horrible effect on our society in the years to come.

Documenting and complaining about this sick practice is not enough. A beginning would be to require a course in child psychology and human sexuality for all elementary teacher's certification. A second would to screen every new teacher as for their comfort with their own sexuality.

We must have our school administers re-examine their "no touch" policy and instead help our students learn that while there is appropriate touching and that there is inappropriate touching, not that all touching is bad. Forbidding all touching and labeling most of it as sexual harassment is a travesty on education and educators who support it.

Dr. Richard E. Richards

Colorado Springs

Traumatic event from kindergarten

I know I will always remember a traumatic event from my kindergarten year. I attended a Catholic school, and the nuns had the boys and girls separated at different tables. I still remember talking to a girl during class. I think I may have even "kissed" her in school. Sister Mary "pounced" on me and said," Leonard, if you like the girls so much, you can sit with them."

I have never figured out what the punishment was supposed to be. Given the choice between expulsion for sexual harassment (article's school policy) or Sister Mary's scolding, I would have taken expulsion. So many of today's school administrators lack common sense and fear parent litigation over nonexistent problems that they actually create.

Len Zigment

Colorado Springs

Things haven't changed much

Re: Six-year-old boy suspended for a kiss: This is a case of overreaction by school officials! These people are being paid, and are in charge? How could they be so stupid? Thirty-two years ago, I pulled a 7-year old child out of public school and home-schooled her for 6 1/2 years because of equally stupid behavior by school officials. I guess things haven't changed much over the years. I see no reason to change my opinion of public schools.

Edy Kline

Colorado Springs

Two cities have little in common

Why is Colorado Springs compared to Oklahoma City for downtown development? The two cities have so little in common that this comparison stretches one's credibility.

The MAPS development project in Oklahoma City completed its first project in 2002 - a short seven years after the infamous Oklahoma City bombing. How much federal money did Oklahoma City receive for re-building, some of which most likely was used as seed money to fund the MAPS program?

Oklahoma City was blessed with the Seattle Supersonics, a top-rate NBA team, moving to Oklahoma City in 2008 to occupy their new arena. This created new money coming into town. They did not rely on more income from the simple relocation of a minor league franchise from one part of the city to another.

Finally, the economic climates of the two cities are entirely different. Colorado Springs economy is dependent on government spending on the military. Currently, military spending is being cut more than any other government agency. Oklahoma City, on the other hand, is in the middle of the Oklahoma oil and gas fields. The Oklahoma City yellow pages (according to Google) list 928 oil drilling and supply companies in Oklahoma City and it is also the headquarters of Devon Energy Company, one of the largest oil and gas exploration companies in North America. I would venture a guess that it was the money generated from the oil and gas fracking boom that allowed Oklahoma City to experience its downtown revival. The success of their MAPS project was the benefactor of this economic boom, not the other way around.

Colorado Springs must find ways to encourage economic growth so that the increasing economy can support a MAPS-like project. Spending money to improve the city's infrastructure, ensuring an adequate water supply and cheap energy, improving transportation, and improving the investment climate of the city will all encourage more economic development. Once this starts then the downtown renaissance can occur without an undue burden on the taxpayers.

Phil Schmidt

Colorado Springs

What about using hometown talent?

I'm constantly intrigued by things I read in the Gazette, and I can't resist responding.

In the Nov. 30 edition, I read with concern an article indicating that the County Commissioners are considering hiring a firm from Texas to remove the dead and dying trees in Black Forest.

I have two questions: First, are these trees on public land? If not, then the landowner or his insurance should be paying for the removal; and second, are there no firms within the county or the state capable of this task? Why does Colorado Springs Utilities contribute so much of our citizens' money to encourage new businesses when apparently we don't even consider local businesses when there is work to be done.

Why are unknown entities thought to be better than the businesses within our community or state? I've seen it before ... universities hire new presidents from somewhere else, companies hire unknown leaders instead of promoting loyal, qualified employees, and even the government hired a firm outside the U.S. to bring the Affordable Care website online. Let's look at "hometown" talent first.

Karen Stapp

Colorado Springs

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