To the editor,
I applaud Ed Greenspan’s RODS (Restoration Of Discipline in Schools) initiative and I wish him success (“Dump the Disruptive,” Letters to the Editor, May 12). Should the initiative come to pass, it will be welcomed by all legitimate students who go to school to learn and are currently prevented from doing so by today’s unruly (at times violent) children.
In the design phase of a new system, there are many meetings where devil’s advocates sharpshoot a project to address possible glitches. Here are some of those glitches:
In New York City we have many anti-education, self-serving entities, among those — politicians (currently, Comrade Bill) and the teacher’s union (UFT). Mr. Greenspan writes that “no child has the right to disrupt another child’s education.” True, but the exception is if that child is the child of parents who will vote for liberal politicians.
Some months ago, an elected city official (forgot her name) wrote an op-letter defending unruly behavior because (and I paraphrase) “even disruptive kids have the right to learn.” Of course, city officials who live in questionably safe neighborhoods need to take that position to appease their constituents and retain their do-nothing jobs.
Mr. Greenspan mentions fines for parents of disrupting children — including decreasing welfare stipends. Obviously, such cases would go before liberal New York City judges who would rule in favor of the parents. Welfare has become an inalienable right, among those, “life liberty and the pursuit of happiness” — and reducing such a right would be next to impossible.
I am also against mayoral control, and additionally, I am against parental control. We need honest educators who understand that the purpose of a school system is to educate all children in a safe environment and to provide proper disciplinary intervention when necessary.
One can get a pretty good idea of some types of students who go to our schools by observing their conversations. I did that in my area high school and here are the methodology and results:
For a few days I stood on the corner with paper and pencil while kids walked to school and, to the best of my ability, I counted the words. At an average, one out of seven words was a profanity. To put that into proper context, try to write a 350-word essay that includes about 50 profane words. Pretty difficult, isn’t it? Additionally, two of five conversations were about violence. While normal kids think about sports or a science project, these kids think about “my boyfriend gonna f--- him up good.”
Here’s an idea that I’ve been advocating for quite some time: When children are born into “families at risk,” the government must intervene and help those families raise their children.
Needless to say, most families who live in public housing are decent families, but the odds of success are against them because of uncontrolled gang violence, anti-society/anti-cop “entertainment” and at times a lack of a father figure. It’s hard to do homework assignments while a 9mm round whizzes through your apartment window.
Combine that with the current pro-criminal government and an out-of-touch American Civil Liberties Union and honest parents are placed in precarious conditions. For Pete’s sake, we have a Marxist communist mayor and a pro-FALN politician in charge of New York City. What have they done for our kids? Ask them — then listen to the initial pause and watch their noses grow.
To the editor,
And again the terrorists laugh!
Even though I have been in the wilds of Wisconsin for the past few weeks, I’ve not been away from the tragic news hitting families in Manchester, England. Once again Muslim terrorist scum have killed and now it’s the children they are targeting. More and more blood is being shed for this “religion of peace” and more and more I see nothing being done.
Oh yes, there are memorial services, candles being lit on sidewalks and the obligatory posters of peace being hung, although it has been well established that these terrorists laugh at our paltry reactions to their actions. Until the world unites and crushes these vermin to the last, I foresee only more tears.
Maybe the anti-terrorist pact signed by Mr. Trump and other Arab nations will bear fruit, though after over a thousand years of fighting, a concerted effort is the only thing that will finally stop the carnage.
Robert W. Lobenstein
To the editor,
I agree wholeheartedly with many of the points in Elio Valenti’s letter, (“Both Could Be Write,” Letters to the Editor, May 26), but I disagree strongly with Ed Greenspan’s letter (“Discipline Doctrine,” Letters to the Editor, May 26). I strongly believe that every person has a “fine point,” but, unfortunately many students as well as adults have never been able to find their fine points. I believe that, if children were helped to find their strong points and interests both in school and at home, they would not become bored, confused and disruptive. Even the most disruptive student can be helped by proper guidance to find a course of study meaningful and challenging enough to hold his or her interest and, eventually, lead to a meaningful career.
Mr. Greenspan, discipline by itself is not the answer to the problems of disruptive students. Having parents sue other parents would only make things worse by causing parents to fight each other. All parents, teachers and guidance counselors need to work together to help one another and their children. Fining parents of disruptive children will only make things at home worse for the children as well as their families.
What the Board of Education and society really need to do is create a better environment for all children, both at home and in school, an environment that, as Mr. Valenti suggests, can bring out the finer points in each and every child. We need smaller classes, more vocational courses for non-college-bound students, and capable teachers, administrators and guidance counselors who are carefully screened before hiring and properly trained and supervised after being hired.
I also think the Board of Education wastes a lot of money that could be used to build more badly-needed schools and hire more qualified teachers. They remove teachers who are too abusive or otherwise unable to teach from the classrooms, and pay them to sit in an office doing nothing. These teachers should immediately be fired. If they sue, as many will, and they win, they can be given back pay. Otherwise they should never be paid or even continue to be employed by the Board of Education. I wonder how expensive standardized tests are and whether they are really necessary, or whether the money these tests cost could be used instead to buy more books. I realize this is a state issue. Unfortunately, the city and state Boards of Education waste a lot of money that could be used to help students find their “fine points” and to help remedy disruption in their classrooms. We all need to help disruptive students, not punish them.Elaine Kirsch
To the editor,
I was glad to see it reported that the repaving of Ocean Parkway from end to end had begun (“Tonight! Ocean Parkway repaving begins!” by Julianne Cuba, online May 15). However, I had to check on a couple things and found things were not as they seemed. I found two major errors. First, the main road of Ocean Parkway is not being repaved. It’s being resurfaced. For those who don’t know the difference, resurfacing is placing a fresh layer of asphalt on the roadway to make it smooth. Repaving is removing the first layer or two of the road, leaving it for a week or two to allow for any pending work to be done (e.g. sewer, cable) and laying a new asphalt roadway. I invite anyone in the Department of Transportation to refute this claim.
Second, only the main road is being done. The service roads are being ignored. There are many areas along the service roads in either direction where there are potholes, cracks, etc., where work is desperately needed. The only places I noticed that the service road was touched was at a couple major intersections where the resurfacing was done between the main and service roads and on the surface road for a few feet in either direction. If the thought is to return to do the service roads, all the machinery would have to be moved back to the starting position at Church Avenue. Again, I invite the Department of Transportation to explain why the service roads are not being done. As with any other road job, it should be done properly and completely. Ronald Cohen
To the editor,
It will take more money and a change in priorities for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to succeed on behalf of riders and taxpayers. Gov. Andrew Cuomo should come up with the outstanding balance of $5.8 billion that he still owes toward the $8.3 billion shortfall to fully fund the $29 billion 2015-2019 MTA Five-Year Capital Plan. He promised this money two years ago.
Cuomo should also restore $3 billion cut from the same original proposed $32 billion plan in 2015 that he referred to as bloated and unnecessary. To this day, Cuomo never explained which specific projects and programs deserved to be cut. Stop wasting millions of dollars on transportation feasibility studies for future system expansion projects costing billions that will never happen on our lifetime.
Do not initiate any new system expansion projects until the MTA and each operating agency, including New York City Transit bus and subway, MTA bus, Long Island Rail Road and Metro North Rail Road have reached a state of good repair for existing fleet, stations, signals, track, power, yards and shops. Ensure that maintenance programs for all MTA operating agencies assets are fully funded and completed on time to ensure riders reliable service.