Bureaucracies dooming our schools

To the editor:

Joel Rector misunderstands Review-Journal columnist Vin Suprynowicz’s wild tirade aimed at today’s public K-12 schools (Tuesday letter).

A careful reading of Mr. Suprynowicz’s Sunday column does not reveal a primary demand for a return to education suited to pre-Industrial Revolution societies and economies, but instead shows his fixation on the idea that today’s schools brainwash students into compliant drones easily adapted to a totalitarian left-wing government.

It’s already clear that our public schools are way behind the curve in giving kids a good start in today’s advanced technology and economy, and that we need to do a better job for them.

The real problem, as I see it, is that almost any operation that becomes a near-total-government affair is doomed to failure. Our various Cabinet-level bureaucracies are, in many cases, sad affairs when their effectiveness is examined.

This phenomenon is also evident in the history of countries such as the Soviet Union and Cuba, and others where the dead hand of massive bureaucracies has killed off personal initiative and free thought.

In the case of our public schools, I believe that the system has become dominated by a combination of bureaucratic bloat and self-serving politicians. The latter are only too happy to accept large campaign contributions from organizations whose goals are the perpetuation of the status quo, including especially the protected employment of mediocre teachers.

Mr. Suprynowicz flings out wildly inappropriate pejorative adjectives and adverbs as a means of making his points. Perhaps he could seek employment as a speechwriter for our current crop of presidential candidates. Much of what is heard from them today is loaded with easy-shot, emotion-loaded appeals to gullible voters, who should be ashamed to take their blathering seriously.

John Gayton


Drug testing

To the editor:

This letter is in response to your Feb. 10 article, “Green Valley principal: Drug testing works.”

Drug testing is not a beneficial program for high school students. I strongly agree with Dr. Linn Goldberg, who is quoted in the article, that there are better ways to prevent drug use.

The students in school who really have a drug problem are not going to stop because of their chance of getting tested in a pool of 550 athletes. Drug testing students randomly, without any suspicions of illegal substance use, is wrong. The program is not efficient in testing the majority of athletes when one athlete’s name can be pulled every time for drug testing, while another athlete will not have to be tested even once.

I understand that conducting the drug tests randomly is supposed to make them fair, but this is defeated when some groups of students are subjected to a more in-depth alcohol test than other students if the principal decides to pay the extra fee. While some students will get an alcohol test that can only track use up to 24 hours, the principal can decide to pay $80 for an 80-hour alcohol test.

While the program has good intentions, it is not a fair or promising way of stopping student substance abuse.

Valerie Rosenfield


No place to shoot

To the editor:

In your Monday editorial regarding the planned county shooting park (“Homeowners up in arms”), you made a small but significant mistake. You imply that outdoor shooting is permitted around the valley. This is simply not true. Clark County prohibits shooting almost everywhere, and most private property in the valley is marked as off-limits to shooters. BLM land is also prohibited to shooters. All this leaves a couple of small patches of the desert where one can shoot legally.

Of course, if you don’t care about the law, anything goes.

I completely agree with your conclusion that the opposition to the shooting park is driven by hoplophobia. Don’t these people realize that shooting ranges are the safest places? How many shootings, or any other crime, have been reported at shooting ranges?

Maybe they need to pay for psychological treatment?

Nachman Kataczinsky


Wasting tax money

To the editor:

Still more news on suspended District Judge Elizabeth Halverson and her attorneys (“Panel fires back on Halverson’s claims,” Wednesday).

I don’t know who’s driving the train there in Carson City, but I do hope someone has something in the works to have Judge Halverson and her attorneys return every dime of my money she has taken in salary from Day One, and all the costs of this circus her attorneys are putting on.

Making her and her attorneys financially responsible for their actions would be a good start.

Bobby V. Luker


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