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Cover-up compounded child abuse crimes



Published: Sun, July 21, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Cover-up compounded child abuse crimes

EDITOR:

Once again I am reading a letter about the abuse in the Catholic Church. The letter writer on July 17 seems to feel that the church is being made a scapegoat for child abuse.

In this day and age of everyone's being a victim, I find it unforgivable that the writer is taking the position that the church is the injured party. The priests that are being prosecuted for child abuse have taken advantage of the most helpless in our society, our children.

Just so that the church is aware, I understand that this element exists in every profession, especially the ones that have close contact with children. Yes, there are child molesters in the teaching, medical and childcare fields. We understand that. The writer says that in every religion around the world cases of child abuse have cropped up. We understand that, too.

What he doesn't seem to understand or chooses not acknowledge is that the hierarchy in the church covered up the crimes of the evil. They allowed these people to have contact time and again with trusting and innocent souls. We are upset that the crimes happened. Had these monsters been turned in to the proper authorities at the time it could have been dealt with, and the faithful could have moved on.

What happened instead was these child molesters were moved from parish to parish and allowed to commit their crimes over and over. That is unforgivable and inexcusable. I can assure the writer that anyone who covers up the crimes is as guilty as those who committed them. The very fact that the church still does not seem to understand this means the door is open for it to happen again. God help us all.

SHANNON L. MURPHY

Youngstown

Let students decide which approach works for them

EDITOR:

I am writing in response to a "How We See It" editorial in the June 17 Vindicator. The gist of the column was oriented to your perceived need for continued development of better science and math teachers in Ohio to better facilitate quality learning in our state's public and private schools. As the father of three, two of whom are likely to be educated in Ohio public schools, I applaud your emphasis on wanting to better the education of our state's children. Furthermore, as a 23-year educator, I have always been an advocate of Rod Paige's comment"...that smart teachers with solid content knowledge have the greatest effect on student achievement."

I do, however, take issue with one of the other tenets articulated in this editorial that being the comment which states that including "Intelligent Design" in Ohio's science curricula would make a mockery out of our offerings. Aside from the religious overtones that you allude to, I would like to offer that neither evolution nor intelligent design is science; they are philosophies. Science is observation with reproducible verification; and scientists have always worked and will continue to diligently work in search of the truth. No one observed the "big bang" offered by evolution advocates, nor did anyone witness creation as "intelligent design" supporters would have to recognize.

The debate between evolutionists and intelligent design proponents has and will continue to take place. My hope is that our schools would offer all sides of opposing views in the curricula. Our government classes justifiably include democracy, socialism, communism and fascism as leadership options. Even our theology courses present deism, theism, atheism and agnosticism as religious perspectives.

I am certain that a fair presentation of the evolutionists and intelligent design options in science classes would help our children to make up their minds as to the one that seems most logical to them. I believe that an inclusive, and not biased, curricula would be more attractive to the highest and most talented prospective teachers.

STEPHEN L. GAGE

Poland

X The writer is an associate professor in the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University.

Send unprepared students back to their high schools

EDITOR:

Reference is made to your editorial, "Remediation in college a major educational concern." How true. Open enrollment in Ohio state colleges and universities means any high school graduate, even if the individual has only a "certificate of attendance" can enroll in an institute of higher learning.

Then, by law, the "institution" is required to provide high school remedial subjects. Does this make sound educational procedure? This pads the colleges' enrollment and is costly to the taxpayer. The state institutions of higher learning should do as the private colleges do. Prerequisites should be mandatory. If the "attendee" cannot complete the requirements, he should be dismissed until he can. There should be no private tutoring for athletes.

Those lacking the necessary requirements could go back to their high schools for "post-graduate" courses. This would be an incentive to the ones in high school to get the education they need while it is available and while they are there.

Students know now that the state colleges and universities will provide remedial subjects when they are in college. It is not the fault of the high schools that these "reluctant learners" are unprepared. It is because the impotent Columbus politicians permit and encourage this unconstitutional, non-educational procedure.

College prep courses are available in high school. There is no incentive to prepare for college there, when the high schoolers know they can prepare for college in college. It's time that state institutions eliminate their high school subjects.

MELVIN S. FRANK

Poland




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