Re "New staff at troubled school," Feb. 7
I am more than horrified by the alleged actions of the two Miramonte Elementary School teachers accused of child abuse. But as a retired L.A. Unified School District teacher and former officer in the teachers union, I am appalled by Supt. John Deasy's drastic action of removing the entire teaching staff from the school.
How insulting to the hardworking men and women who have done nothing wrong, some of whom have worked diligently at the school for years. Deasy has tarnished every one of them.
What happened to innocent until proven guilty, or at least until accused? What happened to teachers' rights? And since when is the only answer to destroy the lives of innocent teachers to appear to protect children?
This is leadership?
Lewd acts by teachers are tragic and represent a breakdown of the school as a community. But how can you even start to have a real community with 150 teachers teaching about 1,500 kids? That Miramonte Elementary exists is obscene.
I live between two of the most expensive high schools in the nation. One had a hard time finding a principal, its architecture marred by papers and signage plastering the windows and gates. The other sits on a gas field.
And Miramonte? Why wasn't that monster school broken up so administrators could know what was going on, so kids could feel they were in a close community and, yes, so test scores might reflect what we know, that small has value?
Don't let the school board off on this one. This is its shame.
Judith Markoff Hansen
Re "State assails utility over power losses," Feb. 2
Southern California Edison has acknowledged the shortcomings in our response to the windstorm outages last fall, which we will improve.
That said, the California Public Utilities Commission's accusation that our workers failed to preserve fallen pole "evidence" misses the mark. There is an unjustified implication about the integrity of our company.
Restoration of electrical service had to take precedence in the situation we faced. Once the PUC indicated the extent to which it believed materials should be preserved, we instructed our field personnel to comply. As a result, we now have in storage more than an acre of fallen pole material.
We are conducting a thorough review of our response, and a storm restoration expert is doing an independent evaluation. We will continue cooperating fully with the PUC during its investigation. The point of these reviews should be focused on how storm response can be improved.
The writer is president of Southern California Edison.
Shouting isn't the cure
Re "Pressure on Komen wasn't new," Opinion, Feb. 4
One has to wonder if public discourse has become so polarized that it is impossible to have a reasoned debate on abortion. When people such as a woman quoted in your article refer to Planned Parenthood as "an organization that kills people," it adds nothing to the discussion. It whips up the left and the right and turns off the center.
Al Qaeda is an organization that kills people. Planned Parenthood is not.
Maybe if we were to have some serious discussions about the real problem -- unwanted pregnancies -- and work toward a solution, the arguments about abortion would become moot.
Yes, a former board member of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is "pro-life." Yes, the Republican candidates are "antiabortion." This makes it sound as if everyone not in those camps is pro-abortion.
It's really all about choice. Nobody takes joy in an abortion, and I'm tired of being portrayed as anti- life. I am for a woman being able to make the decision that suits her life.
If we can all agree that we want to do away with abortion, then let's all agree to teach our children in no uncertain terms how not to get pregnant. Then we can stop yelling at each other.
First, learn to speak English
Re "Guiding Latinos toward college," Feb. 4
This country is made up of immigrants from all over the world, and learning English is key to assimilation and success. Immersion in our language should be the first priority for non-English speakers, wherever they are from.
How can it be suggested that we teach math and science in Spanish when no matter how proficient the students may become, they will not be able to communicate in our language? Do the proponents of this nonsense plan to eliminate the need to read and write English in college?
Like it or not, English is our language and is recognized as a common language in the international community. If you are here, learn English; it's not easy, but neither are math or science.
"Comprehensible input" is making a comeback. The pendulum is finally swinging back so that "students with limited English can handle rigorous college prep courses if they are offered in the students' primary language."
Let's wake up, once again, and offer primary language support to students whenever they enter school. While they are learning English, which everyone wants to do, they should never fall behind academically. And most of all, no child should ever be scared, feel isolated and go home crying.
A feeling of safety and belonging is necessary for learning.
It's only good if you're the queen
Re "Staying power," Opinion, Feb. 5
Did Patt Morrison really describe the British monarchy as "a system that has clanked along fairly well for 1,000 years"?
Most people's definition of such a system would not include centuries of the masses being the property of a self-appointed ruler, without civil or legal rights, not even to the fruits of their own labors. Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and their ilk are the remnants of that monstrous system, and as such are not deserving of our admiration.
The fact that these anachronisms continue to "reign" and lead lives of unspeakable luxury should be offensive to any moral person, but especially so to the citizens of this great nation, which was founded on the notion that no man is entitled to rule another.
Edward G. Rice
Marina del Rey
Sir Francis Drake once said, "There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing unto the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory."
Elizabeth is fond of quoting Drake's prayer, and now that prayer has been answered.
She became queen 60 years ago, and now Elizabeth is the second-longest-reigning monarch in British history.
Evan Dale Santos
Re "Mixed blessing for Mormons," Feb. 3
In the aftermath of Proposition 8, political scientist David Campbell said that the Mormon Church developed a "serious image problem."
It seems to me that what the church actually has is a bigotry problem. By rallying its members to donate millions of dollars to deny equal civil rights for gay and lesbian Californians, the Mormon Church showed its true colors.