Wrong to dismiss parental concerns
In the fall, parents expressed concerns about highly sexualized content being shared by a male teacher to 14-year-old students at Saratoga Springs High School.
The content in question was not part of the approved school curriculum, but rather an outside piece assigned at the teacher’s discretion.
We wrote to the principal, to the administration and to the school board seeking answers to questions and accountability for the teachers’ actions.
Parents have been at every school board meeting since the fall, politely expressing concerns and asking for answers. We asked for accountability and policy changes to ensure that this type of rogue conduct doesn’t happen in the future.
It’s not shocking that the SSHS Board of Education ignored concerns — as this board has demonstrated a pattern of ignoring parents on many issues, including the rising school violence and antisocial behavior happening at school.
But we were stunned when it was revealed that school board Vice President John Brueggemann, in an email, praised the teacher for all he is doing. He finalized his email with “illegitimi non carborundum,” Latin for “don’t let the bastards wear you down,” referring to concerned parents.
Parents can respectfully disagree about whether the sexually explicit content shared in the ninth grade classroom was appropriate.
However, we should be able to agree that dismissing the honest concerns of parents and referring to them in this manner is unacceptable. This is not civil, it’s not leadership and it’s not worthy of our trust.
Forgiving college loans hurts others
I’d like to thank Scott Davis for his excellent letter (“Stop giving away taxpayers’ money”) printed in the May 1 Gazette.
I couldn’t have said it better. As a senior homeowner and taxpayer in New York state, I’m finding it extremely difficult to keep up with tax increases on all levels. I, too, paid my own student loans. My children paid off their loans as well.
I’m on a fixed income, which does not keep up with tax hikes.
Please stop increasing my responsibility for others’ loans.
The students are young and have years to catch up. I am not. I need what money I have to survive on a daily basis. Medical, gas, food and utility rates are all increasing at a rapid pace. I don’t need any added burden.
Find another way to help the young people without digging into my purse!
Onus is on Putin for peace in Ukraine
Paul Rehm’s letter (“Ukrainians should heed calls for peace”) in the May 6 Gazette does not acknowledge the fact that President Putin made the decision to invade the sovereign nation of Ukraine.
His troops have killed many civilians including innocent women and children as well as many Ukrainian soldiers. Cities such as Mariupol have been destroyed. President Putin claims to be a Christian but his clergy have apparently not convinced him to stop the killing and seek peace instead.
The onus is on President Putin to stop the killing and destruction of Ukraine, not the Ukrainian people who have no choice but to fight back and protect their citizens and property.
Oil companies are to blame for prices
KEYSTONE! KEYSTONE! KEYSTONE! Regarding his letter in the May 5 Gazette (“Please explain high heating oil prices”), Ken Jones, now do I have your attention?
The Keystone Pipeline was designated to carry tar sands oil, one of the most hazardous substances known to the environment. High prices — yeah let’s look at that. Shell posted a $9.1 billion profit for the first quarter of this year — triple their profits over last year. Chevron’s profits quadrupled. ExxonMobil’s doubled.
What are they doing with these profits, you well may ask?
They are buying back stock worth billions of dollars, so their executives and stockholders make millions.
Before you (and I use the Imperial You here) start pointing fingers, do some basic research.
Companies, not just oil companies, are and have been raking in millions and billions of dollars during the pandemic. They have inflated prices. They have caused shortages. They are the ones responsible for where we are now.
Do some research. Get the facts.
Why was the Keystone pipeline a bad idea? No matter how you look at it, Keystone XL would be bad for wildlife, especially endangered species. Many imperiled species live along the proposed pipeline’s path and in areas where tar-sands oil is produced. If the pipeline were built, it would decimate the habitat these species rely on.
Barbara J. Kerr
Thanks to Gazette for Bounty section
Thank you for the special section on Local Bounty in the April 28 Gazette. It is the most heartwarming, loving ode to humanity that I have ever read.
People helping people, people trusting their instincts, people succeeding in their dreams. It is so well done and so inspiring. Your people have done an outstanding job with the photographs and the stories.