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Teacher text message didn’t harm anyone

To the editor:

I was infuriated by your Sunday story on the Arbor View High School teacher who mistakenly sent a disparaging text to the parents of one of his students. The infuriating aspect is that the parents chose to go public with the story rather than keep it a private matter between the student, teacher and the school.

The teacher exercised poor judgment in referring to the student as a “drama queen” and other choice words. But who was harmed when the text was sent to the student’s parents instead of the teacher’s colleague? Answer: no one.

And rather than examine whether the teacher’s message had merit, the parents chose to go after the teacher. After all, why waste an opportunity to destroy someone’s career as payback, especially if it leads to some money from a lawsuit against the school district.

I’ve been out of school a long time, so I don’t know the answer to these questions: Are teachers now prohibited from voicing opinions to colleagues about students? Is it a dismissable offense to disparage a student (even when appropriate) to a fellow teacher?

I guess the most important question is: Will the teacher’s conduct give rise to some litigation cash, which appears to be what the parents are angling for by going public with what was a private matter.

And as to the parents, why further embarrass your daughter by having a photographer come to your home to photograph her cowering against her father’s chest? Was she still that shook up over the incident? If so, why photograph her? If not, maybe this was an example of the “drama” the teacher was so frustrated with.

I hope the school district does the right thing in this case, which is to do nothing. The teacher has already apologized for his mistake and has been publicly humiliated. If privately expressing an opinion about a student can get a teacher fired, then we will continue to see an erosion of quality in the teachers’ ranks.

dave liebrader

Las Vegas

Padded pockets

To the editor:

So let me get this straight: Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak calls in the FBI to investigate a few county firefighters and send them to jail, if possible, for abusing sick leave. In the meantime, he votes to give a local paving company a sweetheart deal, which will end up costing taxpayers an extra $7 million.

Way to go, commissioner. Stick it to those who save lives, but pad the pockets of those who don’t.

Ron Anderson

Las Vegas

Not fair

To the editor:

How can the Clark County School District be so hypocritical?

Once again, the school district and the teacher association are not able to agree on a contract. With more than $100 million worth of cuts, the only thing the district can offer is austerity.

The problem is that the administrators negotiating the contract for the school district want to impose more austerity on the teachers than they themselves were willing to endure.

Recently, the administrator association agreed to a one-year freeze on pay raises and to pay half of the increase in their retirement contributions. Yet they want teachers to agree to a two-year freeze.

I am appalled at such a hypocritical and disingenuous act. How can they possibly justify their demands?

I don’t know how anyone can think that is fair or right.

Patrick Quinn

North Las Vegas

National monument

To the editor:

Sen. Dean Heller has decided Nevada is not good enough to have a national monument.

The 1906 Antiquities Act allows presidents to establish national monuments. It always amazes my Democratic friends when I tell them that President George W. Bush created more national monument area with one proclamation than any other president.

He created the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument (now the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument).

This national monument protects 140,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean, more area than all of America’s national parks combined. Why the Republican Party does not utilize this amazing bit of information to call attention to their party’s environmental trophy, I don’t know.

Without the Antiquities Act, we would not have approximately 100 national monuments. So many presidents can’t be wrong. Whether Democrat or Republican, they have without hesitation used this act to save some of our country’s precious landscapes and historical resources for future generations. Death Valley, Arches, and Natural Bridges were all protected as national monuments by presidential decree long before Congress acted to make them national parks.

These, among others, are all now priceless parts of our natural heritage.

Why, when so much good has come from the Antiquities Act, has Sen. Heller decided the act is not good for the state of Nevada? Who knows what national monument could and should become a wonderful component of Nevada’s future?

Sen. Heller, keep your hands off the Antiquities Act.

Bill James

Las Vegas

The writer is president of Friends of Sloan.

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