As a professor who taught in two Midwestern state universities, I appreciated “Advocates see growing disdain for universities” (Nov. 27). However, I noted some glaring contradictions with my own experience in my college classrooms, both as professor and student years before.
The sharpshooter Frank Antenori was quoted saying that liberal professors teach “ridiculous” classes and indoctrinate students. Oh, Frank – to whom I send thanks for his service to go with those I received in the form of the GI Bill after my service during the Korean War that took me through my doctorate – would that your estimation of how successfully we are indoctrinating our students were true. I don’t know which colleges he has seen, but the students in my classes were immune to indoctrination, hard as I may have tried. They were always arguing with me, holding my feet to the fire, and not only mine, but those of classmates who engaged in discussions I tried to foster.
My dream was that my classes would motivate my students to think, to speak, to debate, to support arguments with learned references, and most of all, they would not only do this in class and in their submitted writing, but also, most importantly, among themselves outside of class. When I was an undergraduate, I may have learned more from my classmates in these after-class “debates” than any attempt by my teachers to indoctrinate me could ever have achieved.
Help pregnant addicts
“Pregnant addicts need help, not jail” (Nov. 26) was spot-on. The best thing we can do for children of addicted parents is to help the parents recover. One of the most effective strategies for doing this is using available federal funding to expand health insurance to more than 350,000 adults who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to receive premium subsidies through the ACA. We know that children thrive when they are able to grow up with their parents in healthy, stable homes. Increasing access to health coverage would help prevent children from going into the foster care system by covering much-needed mental health care and substance abuse treatment for current and future parents who are struggling with addiction or at a high risk to become addicted.
It’s an option that’s been on the table for several years, but North Carolina’s elected officials have let our tax dollars fund health insurance expansions in other states without taking advantage of the opportunity at home. Fortunately, there is growing support for a North Carolina solution to increase health care coverage. Carolina Cares (HB-622) is a strong proposal that has bipartisan support. For our children and for all of us, let’s work together to get this done.
Adam Sotak, MSW
Public Engagement Director, NC Child