Mailbag: Give students reasons to learn history

I agree with Patricia Massie, ("Country is lacking of patriotism," June 30) in that some people know nothing about U.S. history. The U.S. government should provide better budgets for schools in order to offer more American history classes at different levels of education.

Schools should also inspire students to attend theaters that offer American history plays and provide a special student discount on the theater tickets.

In addition, students should be encouraged to participate and be awarded for their performance.

When our society becomes more knowledgeable about its history, they will know the value of being an American and should be more thankful about the opportunities here.

Melani Dirghazarianmalhami


Kids should go outside, stay away from TV

Children are becoming zombies to television and putting off more productive activities such as those offered by the program Michael J. Arvizu wrote about. ("In the Classroom: Summer shapes up nicely," June 29).

Too much of anything can have negative consequences, including television. Children need to do at least 30 minutes of exercise a day to keep them in shape. Instead, children waste their time watching superheroes.

The opportunities children have to be outdoors and exercise while having fun is tremendous. In this hot weather, students should be at parks making new friends. Parents should make sure children take advantage of city programs to address those needs.

Lucine Agazaryan


Foreign policy needs complete turnaround

I disagree with Gerry Rankin regarding the timeliness of confronting Turkey regarding the Armenian Genocide ("Genocide happened, but don't rile Turkey now," June 29.) I believe it is critical to acknowledge the truth now because similar tragedies continue to occur.

If the U.S. must live a lie to maintain an alliance with Turkey to pursue objectives in the Middle East and Iran, what does that say about those objectives? Rather than bully other nations with military might, we should pursue diplomatic solutions.

Occupation of Iraq based on lies isn't going well.

Our war in Afghanistan continues into the ninth year with little progress and public disarray in the command structure. The latest ridiculous excuse for staying being we can't leave until we train the Afghan army. What arrogance! Afghanistan is not known as the graveyard of empires because of pacifism or an inability to expel invaders.

If riling Turkey deprives the U.S. of military bases there, I believe that's a good thing. Closing those bases should be part of the withdrawal strategy from both wars anyway. Let's leave before being thrown out.

I believe the U.S. military is being used by multinational corporations to occupy territories with natural resources. The trillions of tax dollars spent on these wars have drained the U.S. treasury. The only winners are those corporations.

How about a foreign policy based on truth and reconciliation rather than war and occupation?

Sharon Weisman


GCC should be cutting expenses

In order to balance the budget, Glendale Community College would have to cut another $1.86 million, according to the latest articles ("GCC faces more cuts," June 23).

I believe the college can still cut thousands of dollars in extra expenses and not have to cut all these classes, which can force students to spend two more years in college. If faced with that, it may lead students to choose other colleges that offer more classes.

Rina Ohanes


Parents should play key role in education

It is very crucial to get parents involved in their children's education. Whether the involvement of parents is going to be effective is directly related to the degree and quality of their involvement ("Reinventing Edison," June 29).

There are parents who do not appreciate how important their involvement could be, so they do not feel the need to step in. Or often, parental involvement turns out to be intrusive and bothering, so it fails. In such a case, the parents can be destructive rather than productive.

Parents must be directly involved. That is, they should be able to properly recognize the problems their children are facing. This can be most effectively done by providing an environment where parents can meet each other to share their opinions and experiences, and address the issues in an organized fashion.

They should come up with productive solutions that address major defects in the system. More importantly, the expertise of professionals should be a determining factor to ensure the legitimacy of a decision made by parents.

As Lynn Miyamoto put it, "Parent-Teacher associations are independent from school and district staff, but they…work closely. The mission is to advocate for children." This has been done mainly by forming a PTA at Edison Elementary School. As a result, parental involvement has increased from no PTA to 63 members, according to the article. This indicates that the parents have embraced the PTA and its potential influence.

Nareh Avanesian


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