Mailbag: Give teachers better seats at board meetings

Thirty-five years ago, I wrote a letter to the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education arguing that the teachers' organization should have an equal place on the board dais during meetings.

For those of you who have not been to a board meeting, and I'm guessing that would number almost 100% of the community, let me give you a rundown on how it goes. The board members and the superintendent sit a few feet higher than the audience in comfortable chairs with computers in front of them.

The deputy superintendents sit in equally comfortable chairs just below. The Harbor Council PTA representative sits below and to the right at a rather large desk, also in a comfortable chair.

Right behind the PTA representative, California State Employees Assn. representatives and the Newport Mesa Federation of Teachers sit in straight-back, uncomfortable chairs and small student desks. These two organizations represent the 3,000-plus employees of this district.

The message is clear: You and your organizations are not important.

So once again, after 35 years, I ask that the representatives of the 3,000-plus employees be given the dignity of a proper seating arrangement that befits the importance of their positions. It's time that the people who actually do the hard work of educating our children and those who support those educators every day get a seat at the table.

Sandy Asper

Newport Beach


Hoag abortion ban

Re. "Hoag abortion ban," (May 14): Hurrah, letter writer Tom Egan!

Hoag Hospital's new stand on elective abortions is another poorly disguised incursion into the private lives of women and their caregivers by a body politic that is dedicated to a worldwide goal of hijacking women's reproductive rights.

My friend once told me he was a single-issue Republican. He just wanted the government out of his pocket. Well, I am a single-issue Democrat then. I just want the government out of my panties. And the same goes for the Catholic Church.

Sarah M. Bruck

Newport Beach


Save the fire pits

Nobody seemed to mind the beach fire pits during the periods they were installed.

Also, the seaside residents who are bickering about smoke purchased their homes knowing full well that such fire pits existed. In addition, the residents who are complaining represent a small percentage of the overall population.

My own experience as an almost-16-year-old guy who has enjoyed being at numerous beach bonfires for Boy Scouts and my church youth group leads me to conclude that the proposal to take away the fire pits seems sudden, unfair, unneeded, unwarranted and unwanted by the majority of the population.

This is an activity that's fun and free and it seems a shame to prevent so many people from enjoying it.

Sam Woodward

Newport Beach

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