Books story in TFP reveals bias, agenda
I would like to complain about your recent story about Signal Mountain Middle School books. My daughter is in this class, and I was deeply disappointed to read the TFP article.
You conveniently left out the fact that there were other books removed as well, including "My Sisters Keeper," but I guess that didn't make sense for the narrative you were trying to fit into since it doesn't come across as racist.
Many parents complained about the subject matter and nature of the books on the list. I wasn't one of them, but we are talking about 12-year-olds and having the right to shelter children from subject matter, language and graphic violence that may be too mature.
Racial tensions have not been higher in our kids' lifetime, so why do we need to twist the truth and reality of the situation to create more friction? At what point do things get better when pointing fingers and writing stories to fit an agenda is the status quo?
I deeply question your journalistic integrity. Stop using my child's education to further your political agenda. Stop accusing my child's teacher of racism. Stop pretending to be "woke" when you are just as influenced by your own personal bias as those that you want to expose. This misleading article is proof.
Book removal based on 'callous' thinking
The recent article about removing books from the Signal Mountain Middle School reading list relating to police violence was incredibly revealing, disturbing and angering.
By noting the subject matter of these books as "suitable for students elsewhere in Hamilton County, but not in Signal Mountain," the email quoted simultaneously affirms the narratives of these books as realities of others, but denies them as realities worth understanding, affirming or empathizing with.
It is precisely because these texts are troubling and foreign that a Signal Mountain student should read and consider them. Literature continues to be one of the safest and most effective ways for children and adults alike to understand and empathize with unknown experiences.
The email quoted relays not opinions about age appropriate language and content, but an appraisal of a fellow child, neighbor and Hamilton County resident's reality as not worth learning about. This is harmful, callous and prejudiced thinking that has no place in Hamilton County.
State website falls short on ease of use
A few months back, as the COVID-19 pandemic first began to rage, I had to fill out my mother's unemployment benefits application online. Sadly, this was not the first time I have visited tn.gov to file; however, I was shocked at the difference I encountered. The website was so incredibly slow, so unbelievably bogged down with traffic, that it took me around four hours to file this simple claim. Almost everyone I asked told me that they, too, had experienced painfully slow processing of their application. One would think that Tennessee, anticipating the onslaught of unemployment claims during the massive layoffs we experienced in the spring, would update or modify its servers to meet this unique need with expediency.
Why are we surprised? Government has a history of unnecessarily complicated bureaucracy and endless red tape.
How can we trust a government, one that can barely run a website, to tackle massive overhauls such as health care, prison reform and immigration? The answer: We cannot.
It's time to regroup and reassign these problems to the private sector, where innovation will finally allow for progress.
Samuel A. Talley