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‘Feminized’ classrooms and writer’s real agenda

Re “How schools cheat boys,” Current, Aug. 6

I guess all those young men with whom I shared classrooms in private grammar school, parochial high school and at a UC campus aren’t really men because, to the best of my recollection, not one ever referred to an assignment as “crap” right in front of the teacher nor demanded the instructor proffer a rational explanation for each assignment. The “precocious” label is out of place for describing a 15- to 16-year-old young man with a penchant for rudeness. And Gerry Garibaldi’s Grand Canyon-wide leap to attribute Brandon’s discipline problems and learning failures to “feminized” classrooms inhibiting innate (and, suggestively, superior) male traits reflects a dangerous misogyny.

Rather than make excuses for Brandon’s behavior, the author would do well to demand of his students, girls and boys, the respect he is entitled to as an adult in a position of authority.

ALEXIS A. CAMERON

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San Pedro

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Garibaldi did a poor job of concealing his real agenda. Why doesn’t he just say feminism and multiculturalism are shortchanging the education of white boys? Then, out of the blue, he indirectly asserts that black author Nikki Giovanni’s work is inferior to that of white author Charles Dickens. If the assertion is true, and it could well be, wouldn’t this politically correct message be harmful to boys and girls? Garibaldi saw no problem allowing his student Brandon to read aloud before his class of mostly blacks and Puerto Ricans from Joseph Conrad’s “The Nigger of the Narcissus.” Apparently, even though “mayhem ensued,” the exercise gave Brandon a sense of well-being. I am afraid that Garibaldi’s issues extend much further than schools cheating boys. Whether Garibaldi accepts it or not, he has some serious racial issues.

BILL STAMPS

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