Minority parents need friendlier schools

I appreciated your article about minority parents taking action to preserve their children's schools and develop a fair curriculum ("Minorities to schools: Listen to us," Aug. 21). My dismay is that parental actions are still outside the realm of politics and are therefore referred to as "activism" - not participation. Those leaders who shut out minority parents should heed this warning and include the parents in their daily meetings and decisionmaking processes. In addition, administrators must prevent exclusionary tactics, which enrage parents rather than befriending them. Opening the door now will prevent having it hit politicians on the rump when elections come around.

Ilvia L. Osceola Naples, Fla.

Standing up for protesters

I am dismayed that The Christian Science Monitor has followed the lead of the mainstream media, taking the popular stance of blaming protesters ("Protests that boomerang," Aug. 22, editorial). The government's abuse of protesters' civil liberties continues. Why should we hold protesters to an impossible level of conduct while police are firing live ammunition at youth? The current protest movement is a reaction to a government that has escalated the level of force used against protesters. While taxpayers are spending millions of dollars on rubber bullets, barricades, chemical weapons, and police, protesters working for social justice are paying in a much harder currency - their own blood.

Noah Mayers Whitefield, Maine

Business skills useful in diplomacy

I write in response to your editorial ("Choice ambassadors," Aug. 15), in which you are critical of awarding ambassadorships to top political donors. You provided six examples of those giving over $100,000. Each person brings tremendous business expertise to his post.

I do not denigrate professional diplomats, but I suggest that their skills are different. Some have been in the foreign service their entire careers, and their perspectives are limited by this life experience. I cannot accept your suggestion that professional diplomats always offer the best representation. To imply that people of the caliber you mention don't measure up to the highest standards reflects an attitude that belittles those successful in business. Such people are excellent problem solvers. The foreign service should recruit more ambassadors of such accomplishment; your call for restraint in this regard is short-sighted. To demean people because of their wealth and political support, without regard to ability, fosters the cynicism you fear.

Robert Odean Oslo, Norway

Compelling opinion articles

Three cheers for Jonathan Rowe's opinion piece, "A misguided quest for productivity" (June 28)! This makes such a compelling case for rethinking national and individual priorities that I can only hope it receives the attention it deserves.

In my 30 years of subscribing, you have consistently done an outstanding job in selecting articles of quality and significance. Other opinion articles that especially caught my attention are: "The world's only super pouter" (May 14, opinion page), "Rescuing the ciphers" (March 9, opinion page), and all the columns by Daniel Schorr.

I also commend art criticism by Christopher Andreae, humorous articles and cartoons, and distinguished, in-depth reporting on a wide range of topics.

All these have contributed to making the Monitor the newspaper I would most hate to be without.

Kendall B. Cox Flushing, Mich.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Due to the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com.

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