Thursday, May 23, 2024

Letters to the editor Sept. 18

| September 18, 2022 12:00 AM

Zinke misses mark in ‘miseducation’ column

Ryan Zinke has no idea what is going on in our public schools, zero (Fixing the department of ‘miseducation’ Sept. 15).

Having taught for 29 years in School District 5 and raising two graduates of Flathead High School, I have intimate knowledge of our school system.

Zinke states our schools teach CRT from a “forced agenda.” He is wrong. Our schools teach history, not just the history a particular group deems acceptable.

When I working with students I had many conversations and in-services with my peers about instruction. I was always impressed by the presentation of facts and the discussion of facts that allowed students to form their understanding without the insertion of a biased political opinion. In all those years I only remember one teacher that crossed the line and presented his political view. In my daughter’s American government class, the teacher (currently a candidate in state Senate District 4), presented information as fact that was patently his take on events. It brought lively discussions to our dinner table as we fact-checked and debated his points. Our children are absolutely capable of forming creditable opinions when given the facts.

In all other settings I witnessed the utmost professionalism by the faculty in presenting historical fact. The quotes from the Biden administration Zinke uses to illustrate his point are not “woke,” but rather good educational principles. Why would being culturally responsive, anti racist, or identity safe pose a problem?

As far as parental rights, parents have always been welcome to “sit in” classes. Syllabuses were sent home at the start of the year. Assignments were posted and could be viewed at any time.

During the pandemic we saw a small minority of parents threaten and try to intimidate our school boards and personnel; that type of behavior is unacceptable and should be dealt with accordingly. Our public school system is regulated and mandated to provide quality education. Local school boards and the Office of Public Instruction set high standards for schools.

Public schools are already underfunded; to require those funds to be diverted to private schools that don’t adhere to those standards is shortsighted at best. Private schools that do not meet the same requirements for enrollment and programs weakens the system. Using tax dollars to fund private education will diminish the education of American students.

— Kate Shaw, Kalispell

Bless you

You were in front of me in Walgreens on Monday morning about 10:45 a.m. You were buying a board game. Montana-opoly, I think.

I said, “Bless you” when you sneezed and joked that they usually come in threes, but not this time. When it was your turn at the register, you grabbed your purchase and told the cashier not to touch it because she was sick. The cashier, who looked barely out of high school, tried to tell you she wasn’t sick, but off you went.

Now it’s my turn. I looked at this poor girl who was trying so hard to hold it together as a tear ran down her cheek. I asked if she needed to take a break and she said there’s no one else available. Everyone in her line offered her words of encouragement and praise for being there and doing her job.

The time I spent in line, I observed her being pleasant and efficient. There were four of us in line and I told her that out of five of us, there was one bad apple. We told her we appreciated her being there.

Did it ever occur to you, lady with the board game, maybe she has allergies, maybe her grandma is failing and in hospice care, maybe she had to put her dog down this morning? There were numerous scenarios to play out here and you chose one that may be totally inaccurate. If you are so fearful of germs, perhaps you should wear a mask when you go shopping, or order online and avoid public contact.

I just want you to know you crushed a person’s spirit by how you acted today in Walgreens. Enjoy your board game. And bless you.

— Penny Overton, Kila