Readers Write: (Sept. 19): Kids and conflict, war-weariness, Michele Bachmann, food stamps

  • Updated: September 18, 2013 - 6:50 PM
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MINNEAPOLIS SCHOOLS

Here’s what I want my kids to be taught

The Star Tribune reports that education ranks as the top issue for Minneapolis citizens as we prepare to elect a new mayor. Indeed, we all care about the education of our children; as a father of three kids in Minneapolis public schools, I do, too. But to focus only on performance misses the mark.

I would rather that we have a conversation and debate on formation. What kind of citizens do we want when they graduate?

Of course we want our children to read, reflect, create, write, and solve complex problems. But I also hope, through the care and attention of their teachers and staff, they will learn conflict-resolution skills; that there are nonviolent ways to solve differences and problems; empathy and compassion for differing voices and opinions, and respect for the diversity of their classmates. Like all urban school districts, the teachers and staff of Minneapolis schools are trying to do a lot with very little.

My kids will each spend many hours this school year with their individual teachers. These teachers will have an enormous impact on my kids and your kids, shaping their character, hopes and dreams. Let us invest in our teachers and staff with realistic classroom sizes and the necessary resources so that they have the time to care for and love our kids into the future citizens of this great city.

The Rev. G. TRAVIS NORVELL, Minneapolis

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WAR-WEARINESS

We aren’t entitled to this feeling? Wrong.

So, according to Eliot A. Cohen, only those killed or injured in war, or their families, are entitled to “war-weariness” (“Americans’ exaggerated ‘war-weariness’,” Sept. 16). How about people in whose name soldiers are sent to kill and be killed in other countries in unprovoked wars — wars in which thousands of innocent people are killed? How could any civilized person not be “weary?” Video games and gory movies do not kill thousands of people. We cannot “change the channel” on a war.

“No one has raised our taxes to pay for war.” In what world does Cohen live? Does he think our wars are paid for with bake sales?

“For a president to confess to war-weariness is to confess weakness.” In what way is a war-averse president “weak?” It is the ultimate test of strength to resist the drumbeat of war and of those who profit from war and control.

I am lucky enough to have not yet fought in a war, or to have had a family member killed in one. But I am plenty weary of wars and warmongering.

DAN FREIBERG, Golden Valley

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