Mailbag: A student's take on president's speech

As a ninth-grader at Crescenta Valley High School, I felt the need to respond to a letter by Debi Devens concerning President Obama's speech to schoolchildren ("Keep Obama speech out of the classroom," Sept. 14).

She claims that the speech should not be shown in classrooms for fear of him influencing our political views. Instead, she believes the speech should be watched only at home, where "family discussions can be held afterward."

On the other hand, wouldn't it be better, as growing individuals, to view a speech in an unbiased environment, such as a classroom, where we can interpret information for ourselves and develop our own opinions? If we hear nothing but what our parents think, how can we ever learn to make decisions?

This is, of course, assuming that there is any mention of politics in the speech. At you can look at the full text of the speech yourself, and I assure you, you will find no mention of any political agenda. President Obama is merely encouraging us to make the most of our educational experience, and telling us that our hard work will lead to success.

I personally find this message inspiring, coming from a man who worked his way up, eventually becoming president of the United States! His words are motivating, and I do not want to be denied the opportunity to hear them.

This is why I say that the teachers at Crescenta Valley High School, and all other schools across America, should be left with the decision to turn on the TV when the president makes a speech about education so it may reach its intended audience.

Jamie Munsey


Gatto needs to focus on the job

The silly season is upon us, and it appears to be politics as usual.

Deflect, defer and distract from the problems facing this state by castigating others and diverting attention. You were elected, Mike Gatto (even if it is only for a short time) to work on the problems at hand, not Sunder Ramani.

What have we seen so far from your comeuppance? Hold a town hall meeting and throw a person out of the meeting; make headlines about hearings on the city of Bell pension issue ("Gatto hopes for pension reform," Sept. 6); no budget discussion yet as the rest of California struggles under your collective weight of inaction; and pray tell what else! Typical of a bureaucrat to hold a hearing instead of putting the fire out.

Start the process of getting government out of people's lives so they may keep their precious, hard-earned dollars and spend as they see fit. That would allow me to grow my local business and have my employees work full time again. My growth leads to more jobs. This is not very complicated.

But, if your solution is to focus on others who are not getting paid to do what you do, then we have exactly what we expected — an inexperienced young man who seeks the title but brings nothing to the table.

Our fault for picking you then!

Joy Lang


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