Letters to the Editor

3/7 Letters: NC schools need more black male teachers

Don Sturkey photographed Dorothy Counts for The Charlotte Observer on the day she integrated Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in 1957. She faced insults along the way from angry whites.
Don Sturkey photographed Dorothy Counts for The Charlotte Observer on the day she integrated Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in 1957. She faced insults along the way from angry whites. Charlotte

Minority teachers

The year I was born the Supreme Court decided that school segregation was unconstitutional and ordered states to desegregate “with all deliberate speed.”

I’m now 65. After reading “Charter school shows NC’s retreat on integration” and “Black boys should see success beyond athletics” (March 5) it seems my state interpreted “with all deliberate speed” to mean “deliberately slowly.”

North Carolina has tried magnet schools, redistricting, reassignments, busing, etc., and made limited progress in 65 years. Now let’s try something else. Integrate classrooms from the top down. Do what it takes to hire many more minority teachers, especially black males, to lead our classrooms.

Minority teachers don’t seem to have a pattern of excessively suspending minority students and can provide a valuable role model.

It will likely take the help of local school boards, churches, colleges and community activists to increase the supply of minority teachers. It may also take some time – but not 65 years.

Chris Lynch, Raleigh

Pollution from DMV

Entirely lost in the conversation about the DMV’s move to Rocky Mount is the cost of air pollution to the Earth’s well-being.

According to a Union of Concerned Scientists report, passenger vehicles are a major pollution contributor, producing significant amounts of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and other pollution.

As we watch the weather deteriorate, spend millions replenishing N.C. beaches after repeated hurricanes, read about devastating fires in the West, and mourn the loss of 23 people from tornadoes in Alabama, are we still blind to the impact of our own behavior on the environment?

There was not one word in the DMV article about the cost of the air pollution from another 400 cars producing polluting emissions for two hours each weekday. How much longer will our leaders hide their heads in the sand and ignore the threats to our very air?

Laurie McDowell, Raleigh

Scrap light-rail plan

Duke University is not alone in its concerns about the GoTriangle light-rail plan. As leaders of Hillcrest Convalescent Center, the state’s oldest fully licensed nursing home, assisted living center and short term convalescent center, we also are very concerned about the impact the light-rail plan will have upon Hillcrest and our 325 employees.

GoTriangle intends to run its elevated tracks less than 100 feet from Hillcrest’s front door, wipe out large areas of our parking lot and front yard, and cast us in the perpetual shadow of its looming tracks and overhead electrical wires.

We also fear that trains running so close to Hillcrest will interfere with the electronic medical equipment operating 24/7 for vulnerable residents. People’s lives depend upon that equipment.

For years, Hillcrest has made many efforts to get GoTriangle to listen to our concerns, with no success. The time has come to go back to the drawing board so that a rational and effective plan, which moves people where they need to go without destroying Duke or Hillcrest, can be developed. A bad light-rail system is worse than no light-rail system at all.

Ted Smith and Bill Hoover, Durham

No war in Venezuela

The trouble in Venezuela… Let’s not get involved in another civil war. We are still involved in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, and we still have troops in South Korea.

These wars never end and Congress is not willing to end them since it appears politically weak to do so. Presidents pass these wars on to the next president.

Only President Nixon stopped a war when he pulled our troops out of Vietnam.

Congress needs to repeal the Authorization for the Use of Military Force and return the constitutional power to declare war to Congress. After debate in Congress, it’s much harder to get a declaration of war.

Kurt Becker, Durham

ICE and local schools

I am a student at Cary High School and 23 percent of our student population is Hispanic.

With the current state of our government, it is easy to see how ICE raids are a huge fear for anyone who is Hispanic, but much more so for those who are in the country illegally.

I believe everyone should have an equal opportunity to pursue an education, regardless of race or ethnicity. Current government immigration policies disregard this completely in favor of keeping people out.

Although these issues cannot be controlled off school grounds, the steps Wake County has taken to protect these students while they are in school is nothing less than incredible and I applaud Superintendent Cathy Moore for her efforts.

Hayden Stancill, Cary