Sound Off To The Editor

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To the editor:

Brooklyn College couldn’t find a smarter individual than Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to address its graduates? (“Bernie Sanders attacks Trump, celebrates diversity at Brooklyn College commencement” by Julianne Cuba, online May 31).

His claim to fame is that he lost a rigged election. How many people had heard of Sanders before the Hillary fiasco? Had Sanders been elected president, he would have placed immeasurable strain on the American economy, would have gutted our military and would have floundered in the foreign policy arena. His personal life has been dedicated to promoting “unearned equality” and protesting something or other.

With the exception of some odds-and-ends jobs, Sanders has lived his whole life loitering on the government dole promoting his warped ideology. In fact, as mayor of Burlington, he wanted to change the city’s name to “The People’s Republic of Burlington” emulating “The People’s Republic of China.” How warped is that?

Get a clue, Senator, socialism does not work. Socialist countries cannot protect their people because they don’t have a sufficient defense budget. Cases in point: Germany and Sweden cannot control the Syrian refugees they have accepted into their respective countries. Their economies have suffered and they lack sufficient law enforcement personnel to keep the refugees in check.

The senator stated: “We must never allow demagogues to divide us by race, by religion, by national origin, or by sexual orientation. Black, White, Latino, Asian American, Native American, Christian, Jew, Muslim, and every religion, straight or gay, male or female, we must stand together. This country belongs to all of us.” Not true, Senator. This country belongs to those who pay for it, who fight for it and who work to improve it. The major division is between those who support America and those who do not. The senator’s attack on President Trump is an attack on the United States of America and his description of a “demagogue” describes Obama (not Trump) to a tee.

I conducted a little research on Vermont and here are some interesting stats: 94.8 percent of the people are white, 1.6 percent are Asian, 1.5 percent are Hispanic, 1.3 percent are black. Let’s look at the people’s religious affiliations, where only 33.7 percent consider themselves religious as compared with 49.4 percent for the rest of the country: 20.6 percent are Catholic, 0.4 percent are Jewish and 0 percent are Muslim. One would think that the senator’s priority would be to invite some of the diverse cultures he cited in his speech to live in Vermont.

The bottom line is that Sen. Sanders lives in a lily-white state unencumbered by terrorist threats and violent crimes, but has the audacity to lecture President Trump and, by definition, the United States of America.

As I write this opinion, a prim-and-proper, politically-correct England is recovering from yet another terrorist attack; this one on the London Bridge. The front-page headline of the New York Post read “AGAIN.” Why “AGAIN?” Because there is a pattern to the carnage — a pattern that Bernie Sanders does not see. I can lead him through it at another time, but first he should try to figure it out himself.Elio Valenti


Coney left out

To the editor:

I thought after many years the residents of Coney Island would be part of the city. To my surprise I’m so wrong. The [previous] city council person never did anything to help the residents to improve their lives. Not until Mark Treyger became the councilman for Coney Island [is there someone] who’s out for the sake of the community.

The mayor wanted ferry boats for residents of the Rockways [going] into the city [to make] stops at Pier 69 and I do believe Red Hook. Once again, Coney Island is the stepchild of the city. Anyone on the west end of Coney Island would love to have ferry boats [traveling] into the city. Not only that, those ferries could bring tourists to the amusement area as well.Jerry Sattler

Brighton Beach

Think of others

To the editor:

Have you ever walked in the street and wound up with dog crap on your shoes? Often taking into your home? Well, to the pigs who don’t pick up [their dog’s poop], shame on you. I wonder if someone did the same to you how happy would you feel. So as I remember the fine for not picking up after your dog was $25. I would propose the fine should be $1000. That would send a message that we deserve a clean environment for all.

John Snow

Brighton Beach

Instill good behavior

To the editor,

Dear Ms. Kirsch:

Since you feel that you are an expert on what is wrong with the NYC school system, I suggest that you file papers at 55 Water St. and become a classroom teacher. I also suggest that you asked to be placed in a SURR school. SURR refers to Schools Under Registration Review. Then and only then would you get to see first hand what is going on in New York City schools. The general public is being lied to regarding the discipline mess. There are far too many principals out there who hide incidents as they fear for their jobs. It is so much easier to blame the teacher for poor student behavior. Unfortunately, teaching has taken on a new meaning. You are not judged by the ability to impart knowledge. Instead, a good teacher is the one who can control renegade students.

I never in my 33 years ever met a teacher who came to school unprepared and ready to goof off. I did meet dedicated people who were idealistic such as yourself. They entered the profession feeling that they could make a difference, only to become disillusioned quickly and become part of the 70 percent who leave within the first five years on the job.

Since my retirement in 2001, conditions have even become worse as we have more and more principals out there who never taught, but became principals by attending the so-called Leadership Academy. These people are taught to promote hostile conditions in the school and to drive the experienced teacher to [take early] retirement or just plain quit.

We are tired of supervisors who wear shades when it comes to student behavior. These are the same people who harp on bright shiny bulletin boards, and noting paper in desk pockets or on the floor. These are the same people who call for alternate assessments so that the recalcitrant student is pushed through or into cooperative learning, which will justify noise in the classroom. These are the same people who harp on the fact that the lesson is teacher-led and call for the student to engage themselves. Excuse me, but we need factual information to be taught; otherwise, the student comes out totally ignorant of the subject discipline.

It is true that during my lengthy classroom experience I had some very excellent students. These children were self-motivated and came to school to learn. There was no nonsense. I am sure that when Ms. Kirsch attended school, there was no such thing as marauding through the halls, fighting and screaming out in the room and cursing the teachers.

Ms. Kirsch, you should see some of the parents that you have to meet. Many were discipline problems themselves when they attended school. How would you like to deal with a parent whose child was undergoing cancer treatment and yet she refused to sign a home contact card [showing] where she could be reached in an emergency? She claimed it was the school’s responsibility to do something if an emergency occurred. Translated, this meant that she couldn’t wait to file a lawsuit against the system. My favorite parent was Mrs. G of the 1970s. Her son sat in back of the room and cursed me out repeatedly. When I taught this unruly bunch of youngsters, he would say b--- s--- no matter what I said. During a meeting with her on open school night, she said “Buster, I’m not through with you yet,” and claimed that her child was terrified of me. The following year I had the daughter. J was exceedingly bright and well behaved. When I gave an excellent report to the parent that night, she said nothing to me but proceeded to slam the door when she left the room. She just wanted another confrontation.

Teachers are not psychiatrists, psychologists or social workers. Guidance counselors do try but their hands are tied and remember — they deal with one child at a time, not the classroom teacher who may have several unruly students in the room.

No matter how much money is pumped into the school system, the results will remain dreadful until students learn there are consequences for unruly behavior.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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