Let’s stop the ‘teacher hate’ rhetoric

To the editor:

It is difficult to pick up the Review-Journal without reading some type of attack on teachers (Friday editorial). The sad thing is that most people who read this propaganda believe it.

Why doesn’t the Review-Journal try a new approach when dealing with teachers? You should try dealing with facts, not propaganda.

One fact is that there is a real and critical teacher shortage. This shortage will only continue to grow. Teachers do not want to move here because the pay is poor, at best, when compared with the cost of living. Many teachers who started their careers here are leaving for better conditions in other states.

Have things gotten so ridiculous that teachers are attacked by your newspaper after being offered 1.6 percent raise? This insulting raise does not even keep up with the cost of living and will do nothing to attract teachers to this state.

Another fact is that there is no “powerful teachers union,” as is constantly written in this paper. If there were a powerful union, students would not be crammed into classes of 40 or more and there would not be a shortage of teachers. The union has no power because it does not have the power to strike. Therefore, it settles for whatever table scraps are thrown its way.

It is ridiculous to attempt to talk about accountability and empowerment schools when you cannot even hire enough qualified teachers in the first place. If teachers in the Clark County School District really have it that good, there would be a surplus of quality teachers begging to come here, not the growing shortage that currently exists.

The Review-Journal needs to stop the “teacher hate” rhetoric and let the facts speak for themselves.

Bill Bukovi

HENDERSON

Smoking law

To the editor:

I am not an avid anti-smoker. Yet I find the fact that the recent no-smoking ban is not being enforced in many areas where food is served to be a serious challenge to the very heart of our system of government.

What can be more American? On Nov. 7, a majority of Nevada voters passed Question 5, the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act. The people have spoken, right? Wrong! Since November, the Clark County Health District has received more than 2,000 complaints involving approximately 590 different establishments — yet smoking is still occurring in many bars throughout the state, and no penalties have been levied.

Nothing is going to change if the violators are not penalized. The bar owners are not going to antagonize their gambling customers if they are not forced to, and the smokers are not going to stop if the bartender’s only verbal position is, “Sir, this is a non-smoking establishment and I cannot provide you with an ashtray.”

Why don’t we get off our duffs and enforce what the voters have demanded?

JEFFREY SMITH

LAS VEGAS

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