Regarding “Drugs taking toll at Raleigh school” (Apr. 8): I am the fortunate grandparent of a former Leesville HS student who got tangled up in the same drug culture as those peers mentioned in the article. She lived with us her sophomore year 2016-17, and at the end of that year, in spite of 3-5 days mental health care per week and an exhaustive search for more help, we saw no other option but to get her away from this area.
We were lucky to have another set of loving grandparents in Houston willing to stick their necks out to take her into their home and find help. It turns out Houston is a leader in teen addiction recovery programs that include daily 12-step groups, therapy, weekend sober social events, sober high schools and an Alternative Peer Group. The program is so successful that it produced a documentary, “Generation Found”. We attended a screening of this film at the UNC School of Social Work to include a panel discussion that echoed, “Why are there no programs like this in NC?”
Ellen Condelli, LCSW
Regarding “Parent objects after receiving PTA handout on white privilege” (Apr. 6): Anyone stating “white privilege” exists is perpetuating a lie or is gullible enough to accept a warped distortion of the facts. Tell poor or working-class whites that do not have an adequate home or shelter; do not have enough food adequate enough to keep body and soul together; can’t afford adequate clothing; have non-existent healthcare or education; the white family, single mother or father, who cannot afford adequate transportation to look for work or maintain a job; white children who have abusive or indifferent parents or parents with substance abuse problems – tell these people they have “white privilege.”
This notion is born from racial animosity. I can’t think of much that’s crueler, or more wrong, than to perpetuate upon any person, or society, the notion that people in this circumstance are privileged. Class privilege, yes. This knows no racial barriers. Numerically, many people, black, brown, and white, have class privilege.
For those who believe “white privilege” exists, I know exactly how to eradicate it. The very moment you give up your sense of victimhood, “white privilege” will disappear completely, and you’ll never be bothered with it again.
Consider this: Entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin’s innovative postal efficiencies and the US Constitution empowered Congress to create a national postal system, and the consumer confidence earned by the absolute security created by strong federal law enforcement contributed mightily to the growth, unity, and prosperity of the United States.
Given real concerns today about poor security, opaque decision making and low user confidence, the best parts of Facebook might be preserved and its most egregious failures put truly behind it if it became, or was replaced by, a national social media system owned and operated solely by and for the American people.
Ban rubber mulch
Regarding “What are your kids playing on? Why Durham will replace this park’s rubber mulch” (Apr. 10): I applaud the recent decision to remove the tire mulch at East Durham Park. My older child’s preschool went there daily. We oftentimes would go as a family, but stopped once we found out that there are a dozen cancer-causing chemicals used in the making of tires. Kids play with the tire mulch, sometimes chewing it, including my own toddler.
The question around the science needs to be reframed to ask: why would rubber from used tires be allowed to remain as playground surfacing when there’s not enough science to prove that it’s safe? Both the EPA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission no longer claim that the material is safe. There is science that shows real concern.
I’m encouraged by the council’s responsiveness to community concerns. I urge them to make a city-wide plan to phase out rubber surfacing where kids play, and to continue to prioritize equity.