LETTERS: Later school start times long overdue

To the editor:

Thank you, state Sen. Tick Segerblom, for proposing a bill for later school start times (“Students may rise, shine later,” Sunday Review-Journal). I have long opposed the earlier start times imposed on our schools when the bus times were rescheduled.

In fact, I recently emailed the Clark County School District, citing the American Academy of Pediatrics study, and I got the brush-off. Maybe Sen. Segerblom’s bill seeking the delay of start times won’t be so easily ignored.

My son’s elementary school went from 8:40 a.m. to 8 a.m. That led to the school grounds being opened at 7:40 a.m. and the first bell at 7:50, leaving less than 10 minutes of playtime before school. The kids had at least a half-hour of playtime previously. The time change forced our school to move its running club to after school, when the temperatures are much higher. With only two hours out of the week allotted to physical education, our kids need as much exercise time as possible.

What’s even more disturbing is high school start times of 7 a.m. It’s a constant struggle for my daughter to get to school by then, as she has a hard time waking up before 5:30 a.m. Her first-period teachers comment that they themselves are not fully awake at that hour. What quality of education can we expect when both student and teacher are half asleep? It’s just not conducive to learning.

Study after study has proved that students perform better and testing improves when schools have a later start time. If we don’t take this matter seriously, our schools will continue to be ranked the lowest in the nation.



Land of liberty?

To the editor:

Since 1903, Emma Lazarus’ most famous poem could be found on the Statue of Liberty. She calls this special lady “The Mother of Exiles,” and the poem ends: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I have listened to millions of so-called Americans, including a host of our highest-ranking politicians, get upset because thousands of Latin American children with extremely strong family values are doing just what the Statue of Liberty told them to do. So I have come up with a good solution for this problem: Since the golden door is now closed and locked, we need to dismantle the Statue of Liberty and send it back to France.



GOP and immigration

To the editor:

President Barack Obama is catching criticism for taking the immigration issue off the table before the midterm elections. It’s a smart move, because we all know the Republicans and the tea party would turn immigration into a hot-button issue to pump up their anti-immigration base.

For the past four years, tea party Republicans have blocked every attempt to bring about immigration reform. Now that the midterms are fast approaching, Republicans have suddenly had a change of heart and want to talk about immigration reform. Don’t believe it. Republicans are up to their usual tricks, with no other aim than to gain an advantage in the elections.

When the elections are over, the Republicans and the tea party will revert to obstruction mode and go back to blocking immigration reform. What pathetic hypocrites.



Pandering president

To the editor:

President Barack Obama recently spoke about his decision to play golf only minutes after his remarks surrounding the beheading of an American by the Islamic State. Throughout his first presidential campaign, then-Sen. Obama promised that he and his administration would be the most transparent in recent history. His remarks and comments certainly prove that and a lot more.

President Obama is a self-serving egotist, a narcissist and a boor, with no manners or feeling for anyone other than himself. His actions tell us exactly how he feels about our country and the people in it. After the death of Michael Brown, an American black man, all the stops were pulled out as the White House sent the attorney general and others to Ferguson, Mo., to see firsthand what was happening and to attend the young man’s funeral. Media coverage was over the top, none of which appeared to bother the president.

Following the beheadings of the two American journalists, what did the president or the White House do to acknowledge their killings? Who from the administration attended services or saw the families of these American heroes and martyrs? Both victims were white, and Sotloff was Jewish.

The president, in his rush to play golf, demonstrated in no uncertain way what kind of a man he really is. He spends his time campaigning to his minions of uninformed students and “underpaid” workers for all to see. That’s his day job. At night, he attends fundraisers with wealthy donors, most often in private settings that the regular, everyday folks aren’t supposed to see or know about.



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