A fourth-grade teacher in Idaho is being criticized for placing a "failing mark" on failing students' faces in indelible ink. Some parents complained the punishments shamed the students who failed Summer Larsen's reading class. I don't disagree with the "scarlet letters." I simply feel the parent(s) should wear them instead.
I have met some good parents and some very exceptional parents. I delineate between the two groups because of personal involvement with a child. Reading to a child from birth into grade school should be a no-brainer. Making certain a child's homework is not only complete but acceptable in accuracy and form, at least through sixth grade. I'd wager a majority of the complaining parents fit into the "good" parent category, not the "exceptional."
Proper parenting does not place full responsibility for academics in the hands of teachers. That was the attitude in agrarian America a century ago. Modern parents who are not involved enough to know when a child falls significantly behind is totally culpable for that child's poor comparative performance. Both parents and children should have been "marked" instead with remedial training.
DAVID H. FIHN SR.
Rep. Chuck Fleischmann recently was quoted as saying he had "never heard anything adverse" about Rep. Scott DesJarlais. This was in reference to Rep. DesJarlais admitting to committing adultery numerous times (with his patients) and saying that he was in favor of his former wife having two abortions (which Rep. Fleischmann considers murder). If Rep. Fleischmann does not consider adultery and murder "adverse," I wonder what would qualify as "adverse" to him.
Judging from his past statements, I guess higher taxes on the wealthy and providing health care are more "adverse" than adultery and murder.
Having been in a monogamous relationship for 40 years, I in no way condone the extra marital affair of David Petraeus. However, his contribution to the safety of America and other nations around the world should not be dismissed for this indiscretion. He should remain the CIA director. Having been down this road once, I am sure he is not eager to do it again. How is his actions more likely to detrimentally affect American security than a person in his position going through a divorce or long-term relationship breakup?
I'm a woman but shame on my gender who, I understand, cost the deciding votes for a man whose track record as president was so woeful. Now he may really destroy what's left of a once great nation.
Did uncountable young men die in war before they ever really lived for what politicians have wrought? Big donors own souls of presidents at this point in time. Only drastic election reform can save the nation, if we aren't already at the "point of no return." If all of those qualified can't tell us where they plan to take the nation in three months, they never can.
How much did we the people pay Obama to serve in the Congress during his first campaign, when all he did was run around the country making promises?
God help us. We're going to need all the help we can get!
Fairfield Glade, Tenn.
I must admit that I take considerable pleasure from the whining, frustration and second-guessing that I hear from right-wingers since the election. I especially enjoy the frustration of Republican billionaires who spent obscenely and have nothing to show for it. At least these misers, like Trump, Adelson and the Koches were separated from the cash they were hoarding. Thank you, Karl Rove, for stimulating the economy with excess money from the captains of greed.
"Solutions" proposed by right-wing losers are entertaining. Charles Krauthammer is ready to surrender and declare "amnesty" for "illegal aliens." Cal Thomas wants to "double down" on disrespecting minorities, gays, and women. Good thinking, Cal!
Take heart, Republicans. You can always get elected in Tennessee because Tennesseans still have the right to carry their guns to bars. In Tennessee, a Republican doctor is free to have sex with patients, recommend abortions to the women he impregnates, smoke pot, write fraudulent prescriptions for narcotics for his girlfriends, and still be elected to Congress. You can lie, cheat, and steal and still call yourself "Christian conservative." Tennessee is paradise for Republicans.
Although the voucher system would be a step in the wrong direction in funding our school system and health care, it would be an improvement in the field of public defenders.
America has the highest percentage of its population incarcerated of any country in the free world. I believe it is because they are not providing a "paid" lawyer to the accused. Right now if you are charged with a crime, it will make no difference in court if you are guilty or innocent if you do not hire an attorney. Show me a defendant with nothing but a public defender to represent them in court and I'll show you a defendant who is going "up the river" whether they are guilty or not. Their lawyer is being paid by the government that is charging them in the first place. If the accused is provided a voucher, they can at least make a down payment on their own attorney which is what they are entitled to in the first place.
Just as there is no free medical care, there can be no free legal representation either. The shape of the public defender system is in much worse shape than health care or education. Hard to believe but true.
F. DOUG CRAIG
This is in regard to "Republicans fostered racism" in the Nov. 16 Times letters to the editors.
The writer basically slimed conservative Republicans with no facts behind his charge other than Internet talking points. The history expert also failed to inform the Chattanooga Times Free Press readers that without "racist" conservative Republicans in Congress, President Johnson could never have passed any of the major civil rights legislation that Johnson is credited for in the 1960s.
As I hear the bickering of political parties, I'm reminded of a neighbor and a relative I used to have. Neighbor C.D. was a staunch Democrat, and Uncle Jim was a dedicated Republican yet they were close friends. They walked together each day. Often their discussions turned to politics; sometimes they became loud enough others could hear their arguments. Yet their friendship never failed. If something happened to one, the other was quickly there to see if he could help.
Their care for each other overcame any political disagreements they had. I think our political parties could learn an important lesson from these men.
Our love for America should be something that replaces our desire to always win a point. We should be working together for the good of our country. That's the only way America can stay strong and be the kind of place we want to see our children grow up.
Let's disagree on things when we must, but let's remember that we all want the same thing -- a country that will remain the best it can be, and always realize that to have this, we must pull together! Perhaps we need to work together even more today than we have in years gone by.
HELEN C. TULLOCK