Teachers work hard for their pupils' success
In reference to the article, "School Board Reacts to Report Card" in the Jan. 9 Vindicator, the teaching staff of Hard ing Elementary School would like to respond to comments made by the newest Board of Education member Clarence Boles.
The teachers of Youngstown work diligently to help our students achieve success. We are always willing to do all that we can to help our children achieve success as productive citizens.
A high percentage of teachers in Youngstown have masters degrees, and we continually attend workshops and seminars, at our own expense, to keep our teaching methods fresh and motivating for our students.
We don't allow the vast problems that some of our students deal with daily to deter us from attaining our goals for their success. The obstacles urban students face in our country cannot be ignored. However, this reality does not hinder us from doing all that we can for our kids, and we are offended that Mr. Boles implies otherwise.
As for his comments concerning hiring "bright-eyed, bushy-tailed" college students, let us remind him that in many instances the teachers of Youngstown, in addition to all their other duties, are training those college students. They are promising, enthusiastic individuals. However, no enthusiasm can take the place of knowledge and experience. Perhaps, with more experience, he will come to realize that fact.
Is it possible that Mr. Boles is laying the blame at the feet of the people working the hardest, on a daily basis, for the children of Youngstown?
He is invited to stop in at Harding Elementary School anytime. We would be proud to share our accomplishments with him.
MARY GRACE FOWLER
and the Teaching Staff of
Harding Elementary School
Except for Turkey, Islamic nations do not get along with their neighbors
I wish to respond to the five articles that appeared together in your paper on Dec. 30, under the title "Understanding Islam." Although there were separate by-lines for the articles and separate emphases, the general tone of all these articles was that Islam is sort of like other religions. One syndicated columnist (facetiously) said of a similar article, after reading it, he was convinced that Islam is Anglicanism with a beard and a turban. Islam, contrary to the presentation (impression) made in your paper, is not a religion "like other religions."
The facts are that where Islamic nations border non-Islamic nations there is continual strife and violence. Samuel Huntington, the prominent Harvard scholar, has referred to this inability of Islamic nations to get along with their neighbors. Islam as a religion was founded and grew (for centuries) on continuous military expansion. With the possible exception of Turkey, no Islamic state that borders a non-Islamic state gets along with its non-Islamic neighbor.
Peter L. Berger, sociologist, has written the following (In an article for First Things, The Journal of Religion and Public Life) of Islam: "of all the major world religions today, Islam is undoubtedly the most muscular not only in its religious stance but in its resistance to cultural concessions.
"By contrast most immigrants to North America have been Christian (from Latin America, but also among many immigrants from East Asia), Jewish (immigrants from the former Soviet Union), and the variety of religions of South and East Asia, all of them marked by a general absence of militancy and a long-standing ability to make cultural concessions.
"Put simply, it is much more difficult for Christians and Jews to have amicable inter-religious relations with Muslims than with Hindus, Buddhists or people in the Confucian tradition."
Do we remember the scenes of joy in the streets of Cairo, Damascus, and Baghdad when they learned of the events of Sept. 11, 2001? Religion had nothing to do with that?
The "Arab Street" is quiet now only because, as Charles Krauthamer and others have written, we have shown our military power in Afghanistan in an unmistakable way. The Islamic world comprises mostly countries that ignore or countenance or support terrorist activity. Period. At the very least, significant numbers of the inhabitants of these Islamic nations hate and envy the West in general and the United States in particular.
RICHARD R. THOMPSON
Community still hasan urgent need for blood
I am prompted to write after reading the article in the Jan. 13 Vindicator about negative reports hurting Red Cross blood supplies. Accidents and mass injuries are not the only reasons for needing a stable blood supply.
I am aware first hand of the critical need for blood and blood products to treat many diseases. My husband was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leu kemia in December 1997.
The treatment for this disease involves chemotherapy that totally destroys the body's own blood supply. The patient is then kept alive with multiple transfusions of both red blood cells and platelets until the patient's own body can recover from the chemotherapy and begin to produce new blood cells once more. This can be an extended period of time, several weeks, often.
During this time, the patient is totally dependent on the generosity of blood donors to maintain life.
Over the course of his disease, my husband went through this treatment five times, each time depending on an adequate blood supply to survive. He required uncountable units of both red cells and platelets over the four years he survived leukemia.
The fact that all the units collected following the World Trade Center attack were not needed does not diminish the very real need that is ever present to treat diseases.
Please, folks, continue to donate your precious blood. This is a very noble and generous act. It could very well be your own family member that one day hears the dread diagnosis of leukemia.
I pray enough persons will continue to be regular donors to allow people to survive this devastating disease.