LETTERS: Education, training, licensing create great teachers

Teacher shortage

Jack Oliver’s letter suggests that an acceptable solution to the public school teacher shortage in Southern Nevada is to “eliminate the need for a college degree in order to teach in our schools.” Following that logic, the solution to Southern Nevada’s shortage of doctors must be to eliminate the requirement that doctors complete medical school — or even a pre-med undergraduate degree — in order to practice medicine.

Likewise, I’m sure many Southern Nevadans have had an interest in the law and watch hours of legal dramas on television. I’m sure they would make fine judges, if not for the completely unreasonable requirement that they graduate from an accredited law school and have some experience in the practice of law.

Speaking for my discipline, history, how can one who has not spent hundreds of hours reading and analyzing primary source documents, as well as the works of history scholars, have gained the experience to teach while working in the private sector? Watching documentaries and reading secondary sources is not enough. While I agree with Mr. Oliver that his suggestion could be “an inexpensive solution,” I would also remind readers that you get what you pay for.

Gregory Grant

Las Vegas

The writer is a Clark County School District social studies teacher.

Do what police say

A 17-year-old boy was recently killed by a police officer in Roxand Township, Mich., an incident that could have been completely avoided if the teenager just showed some respect to the police officer. If you have not seen the just-released video, you must see it.

The police officer showed respect and was courteous to the teenager when he stopped him in February. The officer asked the teenager several times for his driver’s license and proof of insurance, and the teenager refused. The teen was asked to get out of the car, and he again refused. All through the video, the teenager completely refused to do everything the officer asked him to do.

Where is our society headed? More and more people are thinking that they just can refuse orders from police officers. What are our parents teaching our children? Why can’t we show some respect and compliance to police officers who are out there doing their job and risking their lives, so that we can be comfortable and safe from bad people when we go outside? Without all these police officers, our cities would be in total chaos.

Where is this so-called “right to refuse” coming from? Many of these incidents involving police officers killing someone could have been avoided if the person only complied with an officer’s orders. If you are stopped by an officer, please comply, and if think you were stopped illegally, fight your case afterward in court.

Miguel Reyes-Cuerva

Henderson

Too much on Odom

Regarding the recent onslaught of stories about the Las Vegas hospitalization of former basketball player Lamar Odom: What a waste of ink and paper. Who cares?

Neil Schwartz

Las Vegas

Watch for pedestrians

It pains me to hear when another pedestrian has been hit by a car crossing the street. What is more disturbing is when I learn that the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk.

We all know that the safest place to cross a street is at a traffic light or crosswalk. However, the nature of people is to cross when and where it seems convenient. It is wrong, but does that mean that because someone did the wrong thing, that person should be struck by a car? The media make it sound as though it is OK to run down a pedestrian who is not in a crosswalk.

It is the driver’s responsibility to watch for any unusual activity on the road and to be prepared to stop when there is danger. Even though the police might have deemed the driver not at fault in a pedestrian accident, that’s not necessarily true. Both parties are at fault, and while the driver might not be cited, it should not be made to sound like the driver was in the right just because the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk.

Sandra Algieri

Las Vegas

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