Not safe to reopen the schools

I must take issue with letter writers such as Leo Jones who obviously knows nothing about schools or the truth about mail-in voting. First, we do not have a teachers union in Colorado! (Gazette take notice!) we have an Education Association. You might choose whether to join a teachers association but one must join a union. You can opt out of joining and paying association dues but you still receive most of the negotiated salary, insurance and other benefits.

I am a retired D-11 teacher so if D-11 or other teachers are hesitant to reopen it is due to the safety of students, teachers and other staff. Nearly 40% of teachers and staff fall into the compromised group for COVID-19. It has nothing to do with politics, only concern for the safety of students and staff.

To social distance and wear masks takes money, money most public school districts don’t have. In Colorado on the state level, history shows us the Democrats have usually supported education while Republicans have called for cutting education funds and wanted at one time to take from PERA’s reserves to balance the state budget!

And if we’re talking about closing schools to force mail-in ballots and Democrats supposedly cheating, just look at all the gerrymandering, closure of polling stations, voter rolls purging and voter suppression by Republicans. The simple truth and facts show that mail-in ballots help both parties equally. And if you are complaining about there being more Democrats, maybe there is a reason. Like helping and caring for all Americans, not just the rich.

Yes, schools in Europe are opening. Why? Because they shut down their countries to slow and stop COVID-19. After their numbers spiked, they came back down to their baseline. So it became safe for them to open schools. In our poorly run country, we have over 40 states with rising cases. With rising numbers here in Colorado, it is not safe to completely reopen schools.

Vicky Stoner

Colorado Springs

A misguided mission

Get off your high ponies, and leave my alma mater’s symbol alone! I am a proud 1947 graduate of Cheyenne Mountain School. Don’t you dare denigrate that heritage with your misguided mission!

Have you studied tribal culture in our area? Have you read Lloyd Shaw’s books? Do you know the history and function of a Kiva? I do — we had one on the school grounds. Are you aware that a tribal member fashioned an annual sand painting on the gym floor and talked about its meaning while he worked? Have you had conversations with Native Americans? Have you interviewed those people who helped build up Cheyenne Mountain’s unique image? Please don’t try to tear it apart.

When you’re elderly, I hope you’ll recall your Cheyenne experience with satisfaction, not shame.

Pat (Parsons) Kruse

Colorado Springs

Masks tamed the virus in Europe

Rebecca Marshall believes that a mandate to wear facial masks during the COVID-19 virus pandemic somehow violates her freedom. (Point/Counterpoint, Sunday, July 26).

Countless jurists such as Oliver Wendell Holmes have determined that freedom also implies responsibility — that we have the right to freedom but also a responsibility not to impinge on someone else’s freedom, e.g. you have freedom of speech, but you’re not free to shout fire in a crowded theater.

Despite her erroneous contention that face coverings “simply don’t work”, research over three months ago has proven conclusively that they are effective. They tamed the virus in Europe, and they will here as well.

R. J. Toner

Colorado Springs

Everything exceptional about America

“Smithsonian’s racism is blatantly obvious”, (Rachel Stovall, July 27) is indeed eye opening as Stovall points to the statement on their website, “Whiteness is: the nuclear family, respect for authority, hard work, objective thinking, and self-reliance.” She goes on to say, “Marxism and socialism propose alternate ways of organizing society… These progressives of all races believe and promote the idea that nonwhite equals poor.” I couldn’t agree with you more that equating nonwhite to poorness is a racist way to think.

I would add the leftists hate things that are exceptional. For example, they hate America not because it is bad, rather because it is such a good place in the world. The institutions of America, under free markets, have created more wealth, more prosperity, more tolerance, and more decency for its citizens than any other country in the history of mankind.

The left’s response to this is that the system is bad because it is not the redistribution system with the equal results they wish for. So, they explain every flaw of the United States as unique to America. And, they treat every exceptional characteristic about the United States as if it were common around the world. However, the opposite is true. Everything exceptional about the United States is, in fact, exceptional. And everything flawed about the United States is found to be universal in human nature found in every country around the world.

Douglas Gryboski

Colorado Springs

Children elected to Congress

Small children have their own limited interests: toys, cookies, and a stuffed animal for security. They want them, and they want them now. They are vaguely aware that a parent must give a merchant something called money in exchange for these things, but where money comes from, the effort required to obtain money, the alternative uses for money, the limited supply of money: these do not concern them.

That, from an unsophisticated, immature perspective, is understandable. For children, life began on the day they were born; nothing before that — history, it is called — matters to them, they care only about now.

But now has its cares: Toys break, cookies fall to the floor, and dogs chew up the comfort cuddlies. These personally insurmountable difficulties send the children, in floods of tears, into the laps of parents, whose nearly maxed-out credit cards will make it all better. Problems, yes, but none that children should endure for long; none that they themselves must solve.

Time passes, and the children are elected to Congress.

John Rutledge

Colorado Springs

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