Someone with guts
Regarding Wanda Hunter’s “The real scandal at UNC” (DN, nando.com/xr )
Finally, someone with the guts to articulate the “sickness” that is college sports. And, willing to bare the brunt of criticism from those who would confuse objection to a broken system as lack of support of our youth.
I find the blind and arrogant “cheering” of our athletes much like the “patriotic” banter and blind fervor toward our military. In fact, the NCAA has become the sports equivalent of our military complex – unquestioned, dark, deceptive, and evidently absolute. Those who question the fundamental ethics are considered fringe, shamed or dismissed. Alumni, like retired servicemen, simply have come to expect the annual parade and pageantry as "the least that can be done" in their honor. It would all be so sad if it weren't so shameful. We can do better to honor and love our children.
No harm, no foul
Regarding Wanda Hunter’s “The real scandal at UNC” (DN, nando.com/xr)
Why would a highly regarded philosophy professor and head of an ethics center risk her career to give a few athletes, and maybe others, a break? Maybe because it was the ethical thing to do.
Of the millions of grades issued during the period in question, anyone that believes only athletes got breaks is totally naive. Non athletes are given breaks all the time for reasons ranging from good (to accommodate handicaps) to criminal (for sexual exploitation.) It sounds facile to say it but “no harm, no foul.”
It’s true that black athletes dominate the major revenue sports, but this wasn't always true and even 50 years ago most big-time schools had programs in place to keep athletes eligible and some bent the rules more that others ... same as it ever was, same as it ever was.
Neither the number of students involved nor the money that flows through the athletic program are significant in a major research university like UNC. Why it wants to turn itself inside out over this scandal is beyond me.
Three cheers for Wanda Hunter (DN, “The real scandal at UNC,” DN, nando.com/xr).
Those responsible for the UNC scandal continue to be “overlooked.” Honesty, transparency and especially accountability are missing from the UNC story we have been told about the past two decades of willful and systematic wrongdoing.
The mantra, “See no truth, hear no truth, speak no truth, all the while personally proclaiming plausible deniability“ regarding what happened, has become a guiding principle and given rise to a corrupting cultural phenomenon.
Steven Earl Salmony
The latest affront
Regarding the news article “School grades reflect wealth” (N&O, Feb. 6): How much more abuse do we want our public schools to take? The A-F grades issued recently were the latest affront.
As a longtime Durham Public Schools parent, I can attest that the grades given in no way reflect the quality of education provided. How can they when they’re based primarily on tests?
Education isn't only about passing Math III. It's about learning a new language, running for student council, conducting experiments, mastering an art form, writing an honors thesis and gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to live in a complex world, a world that doesn't define success through a series of tests.
Legislators in Raleigh may think they know better, but they don’t. They continue to second-guess and demean the very people trained to educate our children. It’s time to start trusting our teachers, principals and superintendents to do their jobs and support them in every way that we can.
Giving schools grades, whether it’s an A or an F, isn't the way to start.
Help children find their Spark
I am a concerned citizen who has partnered with Durham Public Schools since 2006. There have been improvements, though challenges remain. Let’s give Superintendent Bert L’Homme an opportunity to implement his plan for success.
It is the schools’ responsibility to educate children. But they are not sterile environments. Students are influenced by their peers and by their own choices. Yes, we sometimes scratch our heads and wonder. The frontal lobes of the adolescent brain are not fully developed until the age of 25, not 18 and not 21. Among other functions, the frontal lobes are responsible for thinking, decision-making and planning. Until the frontal lobes are fully developed children must be watched, guided and trained.
Consider what we expect from a child with limited decision-making and planning skills:
• Children must get to school from their homes. Stop and Consider – No breakfast. How can we help?
• Children must travel from home through neighborhoods. Stop and Consider – The trip is not safe. How can we help?
• Children must ride the bus to school. Stop and Consider – There is bullying on the bus. How can we help?
• And once children reach school? There might be smoking in the restrooms, alcohol use, drugs offered, disruptive students, and insensitive teachers. – How can we help?
How can we help the individual child? Search Institute Developmental Assets (SIDA) are well-researched strategies that can improve outcomes for all youth regardless of socio-economic status.
According to SIDA, young people’s “sparks” or intrinsic interests, talents, and passions, motivate them to learn, grow and contribute. Research shows creative arts, athletics and learning are the top interests that kids identify as their personal sparks. Other activities like reading, volunteering, nature, and spirituality also spark kids’ passions.
Research also shows, however, that too many kids don’t get the care and attention necessary to help them identify and nurture their sparks.
What’s so important about that? Lots. Kids who know and develop their spark – and who have adults in their lives to help – have higher grades, better school attendance and physical health, empathy and social competence, concern for the environment and a desire to help others and a sense of purpose
I am ready to keep my sleeves rolled up. Are you with me?
Visit durhamtry.org/Parent-411 (choose Elementary, Middle or High School) to learn more about Search Institute Developmental Assets. Volunteer with Together for Resilient Youth (TRY) to help improve the environmental concerns from home to within the school setting, Contact me at email@example.com
As an American, my heart goes out to the families of the three Muslim students who were brutally murdered in Chapel Hill allegedly by a 46-year-old Caucasian male. As a Muslim, my heart sank when I read that there is a “possibility that this was a hate-motivated” crime based on the victims’ religion.
The rise of Islamophobia since 9 / 11, has led several states to pass anti-sharia laws in the country. A vehement reaction by Franklin Graham on merely allowing a Muslim call to prayer from the chapel bell tower at the Duke University is another recent example of anti-Muslim bigotry. And now, this anti-Muslim bigotry has possibly led to violence against Muslims here in the U.S.
Muslims are less than 1 percent of the US population. If there is even less than 1 percent possibility that the Chapel Hill killings were motivated by religious bigotry, as a Muslim I am concerned.