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OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Ambiguous children | That's not happening | Can't pick and choose

June 1, 2023 at 2:52 a.m.

Ambiguous children

In a voices letter published May 27, titled "As it was intended," B.E. Spurgeon quoted: "God created man in his own image ... male and female ..." and warned "Do not subvert his truth."

My questions are the following: Does this quote imply that God created man in only male or female images? If so, how to explain the birth of children with external genitalia that are ambiguous in appearance; that is, neither male nor female? Children may also be born, although more rarely, with both male and female anatomy. These ambiguous presentations may be due to a variety of endocrinologic, genetic, or anatomic causes.

Surely these newborns are also created by God in his image.



That's not happening

Some facts about public schools from a 20-year veteran of the classroom: We still say the pledge. Students are allowed to pray. Critical race theory (CRT) is not being pushed. Students are not being "liberally" indoctrinated.

If you believe these things are happening, and are promoting them with memes on social media, then you aren't solving problems. You are causing them.

Time for some real history. Ex-Confederates became Jim Crow Democrats after Reconstruction, and yes, they founded the KKK. From the late 1870s until the civil rights era, the Jim Crow Democrats ruled the South. However, when the Democrats embraced civil rights at the national level, a group that would become known as the "Dixiecrats" tried to break away from the party and form its own challenging faction. They failed. The political descendants of the Dixiecrats switched parties and gradually became quite influential in the GOP.

In the 1970s, the "moral majority" emerged. They were largely descendants of the Jim Crow Democrats, but were now Republicans. The moral majority would eventually morph into the religious right with the coming of Fox News and right-wing talk radio. Opposition to Barack Obama's presidency gave rise to the Tea Party, a group that had much in common with the religious right. Eventually these two groups merged to bring us Trumpism.

What all this amounts to is that the Republicans are the inheritors of the Jim Crow legacy. So, when they remind us that the KKK was started by Democrats, now you know how the story turned out.



Can't pick and choose

I must be nuts. "Bigo" Barnett commits crimes against the United States in January 2021, is found guilty two years later, sentenced four months after that, and now wants a three-month vacation before he begins a 4½-year prison sentence so he can get his stuff together. And he wants to choose which cross-bar motel he serves his time.

He is guilty and I believe he is a traitor. Lock him up.


Little Rock

An attack on teachers

I am a daily fan of the newspaper, yet do not agree with every perspective. In this past Sunday's editorial, it was noted that we are once again changing to a new student assessment company. As a retired teacher, I attended many test-prep workshops, served on committees to evaluate test validity/trend data, and led teacher Professional Learning Committees (PLCs) over my tenure. Ultimately, it's the state's responsibility to select formats and determine validity of tests and levels of accountability.

I was terribly disappointed in the editorial stance over the Fair Dismissal Act axed in the LEARNS Act, finding it a cheap shot at the teaching profession. Formal and informal teacher evaluations are completed every year.

There are steps in place for intervening for poor classroom performance. If the teacher continues to be "sleepwalking to retirement ... or not cut out to be teacher," there are clear steps on fair dismissal. Ultimately, if a poor-performing teacher remains in such a state, the fault would be on the administration, whose job it is to interview, hire, monitor, intervene, and recommend terminating teachers.

The very reason our state abandoned the ACTAAP was because fourth-grade students were beginning to perform "too high" (not my words, but of a highly ranked testing coordinator), and after evaluating the ACTAAP, it was found that it was not assessing students at a high depth of knowledge, and the complexity of the assessment was limited. Hence, the jump to ACT, which was by far a more complex test.

Unfortunately, the trend data in ACT scores show there is still work to be done, so instead of continuing the work, the state shifts to yet another test that will allow high-profile schools to maintain their A and B performance grades.

Again, not my words, but the quiet grumbling within the education grapevine.

The clear and invasive attack on teachers and the classroom needs to end. There is accountability, so let's not whitewash it and point fingers. We definitely teach our children and students not to act in this manner. Let us all be the model and remember what we learned in kindergarten; the lessons will serve us well into the future.



It won't work here

I think the LEARNS Act is a Led Zeppelin ready to "pop" over the state of Arkansas. That tack hasn't worked well in Florida, except for those who have and will profit from privatizing public schools.

Thank goodness for those who are willing to read the Arkansas Constitution and realize those who wish to enact it are not following the law to put it into motion. When given the opportunity to sign, I hope everyone takes an opportunity to sign a petition allowing a referendum for this. It seems it hasn't worked in Florida and certainly won't work here.


Hot Springs

Print Headline: Letters


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