MAILBAG

Ideas in letter are roots for intolerance

Why does Linda Sheffield include the warm, caring statement, “While I don't believe anyone should be harassed or bullied .?.?.?.” in her letter about the Day of Silence (“'Silence' event promotes lifestyle,” Mailbag, Wednesday)?

She then reveals her intolerant belief that a homosexual lifestyle “specifically repudiates the values of God, home and family.” Doesn't she realize that her extreme condemnation is the basis of the too-common practice of bullying and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people?

The 2008 Day of Silence was dedicated to Lawrence King, a California eighth-grader who was shot on Feb. 12 allegedly by a classmate in a schoolroom. The day before this killing, several students, including the defendant, reportedly had a verbal confrontation with King concerning King's gay sexual orientation.

Dave Enslow's letter, “Teacher's views must be kept out of lessons” (Mailbag, April 25) suggests that teaching tolerance and civil behavior toward all people is an inappropriate personal view, which does not belong in a high school classroom. Enslow compares advocating tolerance with advocating Nazism or terrorism. Perhaps in Enslow's view of the world, tolerance of all groups is, indeed, a frightening concept.

Bravo to the students — gay and straight — at Glendale High, Hoover and more than 7,500 other schools who had the courage to silently protest bullying and violence against this minority group (“Speaking out with silence,” Saturday). Bravo to Armenian students who participated, even though some Armenian parents stridently opposed the Day of Silence — ironically at the time we commemorate the murder and deportation of the Armenian minority group in the Ottoman Empire.

NANCY BURNET KENT

Glendale

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Being gay is not a news-flash situation

Earth to Linda Sheffield (“'Silence' event promotes lifestyle,” Mailbag, Wednesday). Homosexuals have always been and always will be. Next subject.

BECKER DANSON

Glendale

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City must stop massive salaries

Our fiscal disaster in government is being met with ways to raise more money to pay the bills instead of how to cut expenses.

As the executive director of Vanguardians, a community fiscal accountability advocacy group, I can share this information about the city of Glendale, where the highest-paid city worker is reportedly a Fire Department battalion chief at $250,000 per year.

Firefighters have a very powerful union that provides campaign financing and endorsements.

We, the public, must take our role seriously by reviewing and understanding the issues, then express those issues in front of legislative bodies where the Ralph M. Brown Act provides an opportunity for each person to speak to the issues that fall within the jurisdiction of the legislative body.

We must demand that local governments curtail adding to already massive salaries that carry greater post-employment financial burdens. In Glendale, the unaudited post-employment benefits that are unfunded are nearly $93 million, according to public records.

BARRY ALLEN

Glendale

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Letter to editor was another 'assault'

I am disturbed by a Glendale News-Press decision to print a letter to the editor attacking a Glendale Community College teacher, who was recently assaulted by a student (“College had chance to prevent problem,” April 25).

The injured teacher was twice victimized by publication of that letter.

First a professional educator in the performance of her duties is allegedly physically struck down. Next the teacher is pilloried in the newspaper by a parent of untested veracity who paints her child as abused. The letter writer claims not to endorse violence against teachers but her message is a clear attempt to inflict additional public injury on this teacher.

I know none of the individuals involved in this matter. However, I object to violence and injustice, and don't like to see the News-Press encourage either.

The college administration and the board of trustees are quite right to pursue justice for the teacher by having the first assault declared felonious. If the Glendale Community College teacher has an attorney, I hope the letter writer's attack is also dealt with as it deserves to be.

Whatever motivates people to such cowardly actions, I believe nothing excuses assaults on any person who has dedicated his or her life to the difficult process of educating other human beings.

SUSAN STEPHENSON

Glendale

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Council should not be decider on nonprofits

In regard to giving an additional discount to the Armenian Relief Society of Western USA (“Nonprofit may get rent break,” Tuesday).

I have no problem with this discount being given, as long as it includes giving this same discount to all of the other nonprofit organizations as well. I cannot accept a pick-and-choose system.

The City Council should not be given this power to decide which nonprofit organization gets what.

EDWINA L. HUGHES

Glendale


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