The latest in school-board tussles
During the last 10 days, Suzanne Tobias and The Eagle have fairly attempted to present both sides of ongoing verbal recriminations between school board members Joy Eakins and Betty Arnold. It is a needless, non-productive exchange that is doing nothing for our children, and the only toxic purpose it serves is to further divide our community on what needs to be done to improve our children’s education.
I believe both women in their hearts feel they know best, but don’t realize this toxicity of deceit/non-transparencyprecedes both their tenures. Way back in 1984, Alvin Morris retired after 26 years as superintendent and it began “wars” of hiring/firing superintendents, “Monday Night Fights,” fighting legislators for more money, approving far too much money for two school bonds — they’ve all played out in The Eagle ever since. We’ve read it all before; it’s old and boring. It’s time for adults to stop acting like children and begin to focus on productively improving our children’s education.
Chuck Glover, Wichita
First Amendment’s place in America
Davis Merritt’s Op-Ed “Ex-presidents get what Trump doesn’t” (Tuesday’s Eagle) was prescient and timely. The First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech, religion, and the press, and the right of peaceable assembly, have been validated by the Supreme Court on numerous occasions.
One of most eloquent members of the Supreme Court was Robert Jackson. In 1943, he authored the majority opinion in a case upholding the right of a religious sect to not salute the American flag in school, an opinion that is a classic in Supreme Court erudition.
Justice Jackson wrote: “The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials, and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”
We denigrate the principles of the First Amendment at our own peril.
William Skaer, Wichita
When two words go a long way
As a Vietnam- era Veteran, I proudly wear a hat saying so. This last Sunday afternoon, my wife and I were at the zoo, where we gathered for a company picnic. We sat down at a table on the edge of the pavilion.
After a few minutes, I looked over my shoulder to see a sweet 10- to 12-year-old girl standing within a foot of me. She said only one thing: “Thank you.” I waited for a second to see if she would say anything else. She didn't, and I realized it was my service hat.
I told her “You’re welcome and thank you.” It was one of the awe-inspiring things in my life. When starting to tell others, I almost break down.
Larry Edwards, Valley Center
Smooth and not so smooth
In regard to the road repairs that have been made in the last two-plus years on 53rd Street North: The road between the bridge east of Broadway when finally finished is great. The only thing is it took over 1 1/2 years to complete not because of weather, but because it was worked on sporadically. Before that a finished project at 53rd and Hydraulic, and east on Hydraulic to Hillside, was also started and prolonged.
The next project was the intersection at 53rd and Broadway, which was done in a timely fashion. It is great with the left-turn lanes and smooth surface. But the stretch of 53rd between Seneca and Meridian is the worst road repair job ever. The car rocks about like a rowboat on the high seas as you bump along. There is heavy truck traffic on this street, so I doubt very much that it will hold up long.
I would suggest that whoever signed off this project try driving on it at 30 to 40 mph regularly and see how “smooth” and fun it is.
Sandra Ferrel, Wichita
African American Museum spotlighted with Trailblazers event
On behalf of the board and staff of The Kansas African American Museum, I’d like to thank the Wichita community for supporting our recent Trailblazers event.
Columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. spoke eloquently about the importance of bearing witness to societal injustice. The public also got its first glimpse of plans for a memorial honoring the 1958 Dockum Sit-In, the nation’s first, successful, student-led sit-in. Steve Coen, President and CEO of the Kansas Health Foundation, pledged $50,000 to the project last year. He described the unveiling as one of his proudest moments.
Honorees Connie Franklin, Kevin Merida and Ronald Walters inspired us to dream.
Franklin has devoted her life to children at the Boys and Girls Club of South-Central Kansas.
Merida shattered barriers as Washington Post’s first African American managing editor and is now editor in chief of ESPN’s “The Undefeated” website, exploring the nexus of race, culture and sports.
Walters, who will be immortalized in bronze for the Dockum Memorial, organized the sit-in, led departments most of his academic career and helped establish the Congressional Black Caucus.
Our theme was “Why We Remember.”
Considering the talent Wichita has produced, the answer is obvious.
We have so much to be proud of.
Mark McCormick, Wichita
A sad situation from Central America
The case of the 17-year-old from Central America that traveled to the United States to obtain an abortion is unsettling to the say the least. No matter what side of the issue you are on, we can agree that it is startling that this young girl is in such an extreme situation that she was compelled to take the journey to Texas as her only recourse.
When President Reagan recounted a “Shining City Upon a Hill,” I doubt he would have thought of this scenario as an example. Of course, many will say the opposite, where the great freedoms of the United States that brought this girl to our country is highlighted in the right for her to choose an abortion. All I know is that I feel sad for her situation and guilty that I stay silent. I don’t see either of those emotions as something to be proud of.
Jeff Scharping, Wichita
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