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Charter school won approval over protestations of Newport-Mesa parents

Charter school won approval over protestations of Newport-Mesa parents
Parents from the Newport-Mesa Unified School District hold signs reading “Vote no on ISSAC,” referring to the proposed International School for Science and Culture, during Wednesday’s Orange County Board of Education meeting. (Photo by Lilly Nguyen / Daily Pilot)

Re “O.C. board approves charter schools’ requests to start campuses in Newport-Mesa and Ocean View,” (March 6): A hundred thousand thanks to Newport-Mesa’s school board trustees. Thank you for your careful study of the International School for Science and Culture’s petition to open a charter school in our district. Thank you for recognizing ISSAC’s shortcomings and for denying the petition.

Thank you for rallying the community to support our local schools as ISSAC appealed your decision to the Orange County Board of Education. And thank you for the Daily Pilot commentary (“Proposed charter school is a bad fit for Newport-Mesa,” March 1) laying out the chronology of the whole venture. All in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

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Perhaps it’s the luck of the Irish that I, too, sat through the county board’s open meetings in January and February and on March 6. I, too, listened to petitioner Patricia Gould’s presentations — malarkey? — on behalf of ISSAC.

And I could only ask, why? Why would people come from Los Angeles petitioning to start their school in our distract? Why might the Orange County board overturn our local board’s decision? Why might the county divert public funds (NMUSD taxpayer money) intended for public education to such a venture? Why would some county board trustees be so extraordinarily accommodating to ISSAC’s proposal, despite the reservations and recommendations of the county’s own superintendent and professional staff? Why?

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I listened, too, to the responses of Newport-Mesa’s representatives: teachers, the district’s professional staff, legal and financial advisers. We could not ask for better-qualified, more-dedicated leaders. May the wind be ever at their backs.

On March 6, in the time allotted for public comments, parents and grandparents and concerned citizens spoke out, overwhelmingly in support of Newport-Mesa’s position. We know now how this has all come out. The county board voted 3-2 to overturn Newport-Mesa’s denial of ISSAC’s petition. Trustee Mari Barke represents the county’s District 2, which includes both Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. She voted with the majority. Why?

Joyce McNamara McNabb

Costa Mesa

Charter proposal doesn’t meet our standards

ISSAC is a substandard proposed school with substandard leadership that does not belong in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District — or any school district.

Ruth Sanchez Kobayashi

Newport Beach

The Nazis didn’t just target Jews

This incident highlights the ignorance of the general population young and old of the atrocities committed by Hitler and the Nazis during their 12-year regime (“In wake of teens’ swastika party, speakers at Corona del Mar High forum urge solution to ‘casual approach’ to hate,” March 8). Several students asked other students why they should care if they are not Jewish. While the majority of the persecution was against the Jewish communities, not only in Germany but throughout Europe, which resulted in the loss of life of 6 million lives, they were not the only casualties.

The Nazis discriminated against all non-Aryans. They emptied mental hospitals and put the patients to death. They also executed Gypsies, Catholic priests and nuns and the homeless. This could only happen when good people remained silent.

To those Holocaust deniers, I urge you to tour the Dachau concentration camp outside Munich with its gas chambers and crematoriums. Knowledge and education can eradicate ignorance and hate.

Richard C. Armendariz

Huntington Beach

Authoritarianism breads hatred

As this foolish, thoughtless “game,” which occurred with local high school students, has been well-covered, as it should have been, I have not seen anything written about the deep cause of horrible events like the Holocaust. Authoritarian governments lead to such horrible events.

We now see around the globe governments where the rule of law has become the rule of one leader who has no respect for the laws of the nation or for its people. This causes dire actions and results. Poverty, drastic acts against the people, enslaving of children, disregard for the truth and so many violations of people’s rights and other unthinkable acts, are a way of life.

In the United States we strive to protect the freedom of all. We must be vigilant and active to see that this freedom continues to be honored, protected by the rule of law, with constant attention to the Constitution.

Judy Mader

Newport Beach

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