Letters to the Editor

NC must commit to supporting teachers and public schools

It’s time. Teachers, our most undervalued leaders, have repeatedly defended themselves from politicians, lobbyists and even parents on the “teacher pay penalty problem.” So, it comes as no surprise that “School leaders across NC brace for teacher absences” (May 3) for the March for Students & Rally for Respect.

As a former Wake County student and a current NCSU student, it is baffling to know that the “education exodus” worsens as teachers leave for higher pay in new states. A clear message to NC to step up and address this issue. The unprecedented teacher strikes will continue and the May 16 closing is a prime example that will continue to leave lawmakers scrambling and ultimately paying the political price.

Until our elected officials make a genuine commitment to raise teacher salaries to match even just the OECD average, we will continue to lose experience and qualified teachers to states who value public education.

Ruhama Wolle

Holly Springs

EPA action ‘outrageous’

EPA chief gives Foxconn big break on smog” (May 3) caught my attention because it perfectly illustrates the utter perversion of the Trump administration’s environmental stewardship.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt ignored the recommendation of staff scientists and exempted most of southeast Wisconsin, an area with some of the region’s dirtiest air, from federal smog limits. This just happens to be the site of a huge new Foxconn electronics plant which Republican Gov. Scott Walker has made the centerpiece of his re-election campaign.

This action is outrageous in so many ways.

Clyde Frazier

Chapel Hill

Liberal education

Regarding “The UNC-CH faculty is overwhelmingly liberal. That’s not good.” (Apr. 27): The author presented the definition of a liberal education as that understood by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. He explained that he had no argument with the definition. He wrote that what bothered him was that too many professors at UNC-Chapel Hill were liberal in their political thinking and attitudes.

He did not explain how he knew that “the percentage of liberal arts faculty registered as Democrats.” If that is a problem for him, I wonder how that came to be. Further, he seems to assume that these professional educators infuse their course material with their personal political beliefs.

Mark Zimmerman

Durham

Stop Silent Sam

In “Recent attacks on Confederate monuments are acts of prejudice” (May 3), Yoder completely ignores and dismisses the pain and ugliness these monuments evoke for many. Silent Sam symbolizes racism and romanticizes a long dead era of the south that we have all grown past. Comparison with the excesses of the Protestant reformation is simplistic and labored.

No one is saying that we must forget the civil war and that there are not important lessons to be learned from it but that is very different from removing and putting monuments in their rightful places – museums and battlefield memorials. Silent Sam was raised during Jim Crow, when hundreds of black Americans were murdered and oppressed. It is the first thing you see entering UNC-CH campus from Franklin Street. How can oe be proud of that?

Where are the monuments to UNC alumni who were veterans of other wars? The “monument” to the black workers who built the original campus stands many yards behind Sam and is no greater than a yard high. Silent Sam sits on a plinth of at least 12 feet high. It’s shameful.

We have occupied the area around the statue, we have petitioned, we have telephoned, we have demonstrated at UNC Board of Governors meetings, gone to Raleigh, to no avail.

Maya Little and a courageous group of UNC graduate students refused to let this travesty continue. Little and students put their blood and red paint on the statue. Referring to those of us who want these monuments removed to museums as “fellow travelers” harks back to the 1950s.

Mary Dooley

Chapel Hill

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