Another way of looking at the case of missing child
This letter is in response to the July 6 letter, "Children shouldn't get lost while riding on a school bus." As a matter of principle, I agree -- I wish children, especially young ones, never got lost in transit. As a teacher and former teacher's aide for special needs children, however, I am very familiar with such instances in reality.
It is instructive to note that in the recent case of the 5-year-old girl who was still on the bus after the time she should have been delivered to school, steps were taken to rectify the situation. Regardless of whether the child's guardians approved of the method of correction (they did not), it is clear from the letter that the child was delivered to school unharmed, albeit tardy, in a private car by a bus aide.
It is the point of this letter to show that there are at least two reactions to this situation. One, taken by the girl's grandmother, is that the school employees were incompetent and in need of reprimands, suspensions, and possible termination of employment. I propose a second possible reaction: the employees did their best to correct the error, which certainly did not involve intended malice. They may even have gone so far as to deliver the girl to her school as quickly as possible by using a private vehicle. As a teacher, I know that it is quite common for teachers and aides to provide (at their own expense and inconvenience) rides for students to and from school. Such actions, for the most part, should be lauded and appreciated. When did we become so suspicious and accusatory that such efforts are to be so viciously scrutinized?
The employees have been accused by the grandmother of "not doing the job they are being paid to do," but I respectfully counter that they probably have done more than they are paid to do in most cases. And, in this particular case, they have done what they had to do to correct the situation in a way least disruptive to the student's education. The aide is not due a "light reprimand," rather the aide is probably long overdue for a fair pay raise. The people who educate and care for our community's children in loco parentis deserve our respect for a job well done, not suspensions and disrespect when the vast majority of them go out of their way every day to do their best for the children they educate and protect.
The particular employees in this case deserve a simple "thank you" for safely correcting a mistake -- and now they also deserve an apology.
BRENDAN R. CONSIDINE
Neighborhood protester turns his lot into an eyesore
I am writing about the New Affair and the mess next door. I live in close proximity to this and am thoroughly disgusted by the "Man in the Van."
Before he bought this property I thought the New Affair was just a lounge, I had no knowledge of this being a go-go bar. We monitor a scanner most of the time and to my knowledge there have only been a few calls for this place. Then here comes "Mr. Morality" to let us know what does go on there. Mr. M proceeds with his graffiti and his silly signs to turn the property into a scene out of a slum.
Now that the New Affair has put up some tarps so he can't sit there and run a movie camera, he has erected scaffolding and there he is on the top with an umbrella still taking pictures. This scaffolding is wrapped in black garbage bags and has been spray painted with orange.
There has to be something on the books saying that this is an eyesore and has to be cleaned up or torn down. Our neighborhood has only a few things that can be corrected by the city. Like some vacant houses that have grass climbing up to the porch and junk cars in the yards. Other than these few things we are trying to keep our property looking good. Maybe our councilman has to get going and doing what he was elected for.