At school, some parents just refuse to help

To the editor:

In response to Jerry Fink’s Jan. 13 letter, “Failing school system,” our schools are not the primary reason for failing students. I have taught in this school district for 13 years, and one thing is for sure, the students who fail and drop out come from homes where parents have other priorities.

Of my 170 students, those who are failing miss multiple days of school, fail to take advantage of extra help teachers offer and have parents who have more excuses than our federal government.

We have ways for parents to check grades and daily assignments on blogs and teachers’ Web pages. We regularly communicate with homes regarding these tools. Yet these parents, on Day 84 of the school year, say, “I didn’t know.”

As I attempted to call the homes of students earning a grade of 69 or below last week to encourage those students to come in for the final make-up day of the quarter, I was met with disconnected phones and full mailboxes. These parents apparently can’t even be bothered to update with a new phone number the institution that houses their children each day.

I spend countless hours inputting late assignments and conferring one-on-one with these students. Yet often I am met with the “I don’t care” attitude from these students and parents alike. I can do a lot, and I do and my colleagues also work extremely hard.

But the one thing I cannot do, Mr. Fink, is make people care.

IVY NELSON

LAS VEGAS

Crossing zones

To the editor:

Las Vegas police and the media reported the Jan. 10 death of 83-year-old Doris Stoehr after she was struck by a car while crossing Decatur Boulevard “while not in a marked crosswalk.” They did not finish the statement with “a distant quarter-mile away” – quite a hike even for an agile 83-year-old.

She was sharing the “attractive danger zone” with the vehicle in the only break in a center median stretching the half-mile or more north of Vegas Drive. We are left to surmise the car must have been either making a U-turn or exiting the bank with a left turn at the same time Ms. Stoehr began her crossing – a dangerous but not illegal situation. Or did she just not make it all the way across before the next wave of stampeding cattle came barreling down upon her?

Ms. Stoehr lived in the 200 or more senior housing garden apartments on the east side of Decatur. Properly reporting accidents such as this should confirm the need for some sort of warning and/or traffic control near senior housing – as exemplified by the button-initiated light in the 3000 block of East Bonanza Road.

RICHARD E. LAW

LAS VEGAS

He needn’t look far

To the editor:

President Obama has come out with his ideas to keep another Newtown from happening. None of the suggestions would have prevented it. That being said, one of his ideas is to go after gun traffickers, something I as a law abiding gun owner would be fully in favor of.

Mr. President, does that mean you will finally allow Congress and the public to view the communications you claimed executive privilege over? You know, the ones between you and Attorney General Eric Holder in the Fast and Furious gun-walking debacle?

Will the parents of slain American Border Patrol agent Brian Terry finally find out who let over 2,000 “assault weapons” walk across our southern border into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels, at least two of which were found at the scene of his murder? Will someone finally be held responsible for all the Mexican citizens killed with those weapons?

No, I don’t believe any of these things will happen. What I do believe is Mr. Obama and some of his fellow Democrats will continue to disparage law-abiding American citizens who believe with Ben Franklin that “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Remember what Sen. Dianne Feinstein said after passing the “assault weapons” ban: “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them, Mr. and Mrs. America turn ’em all in, I would have done it. I could not do that, the votes weren’t here.”

Rifles account for a fraction of gun-related homicides. Handguns account for the vast majority. Do any of you doubt handguns would have been next on her agenda?

ROBERT GARDNER

HENDERSON

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