Learning from Palestinians and Israelis alike
Regarding "A few tips on how the experts spot a terrorist" (May 29): If Americans really want to know how to spot terrorists, they should ask not only the Israelis but the Palestinians as well. Any Palestinian could explain the basis for terrorism as it is recognized today. The Israelis may help with security at the last point of a terrorist's mission, but the Palestinians could help explain how to take more preventive measures, as well as describe the oppression, despair, and disenfranchisement that breeds a class of people willing to kill themselves for political change. They, better than anyone else, could describe the conditions that breed more terror.
Regarding "Men wrestlers take on women's sports" (May 31): It should be noted that even though the number of women participating in college athletics has risen dramatically, the number of candidates for women athletics remains below that of men. There are many more men vying for positions on college sports teams than there are women. This is further evidenced by the continued trend in intramural sports, where participation by men is about twice that of women. This occurrence is important to note. It is a truer barometer of the level of desire by the female population for participation in sports.
Regarding "Summer school despite rising role faces major cuts" (May 22): What I'm trying to figure out after 40 years in education is: What exactly is an "extra" and who decides what falls into this category? Is art an extra? Are recess and band extras? For many children, these are paths to success, and success in one area builds to success in others. One would think this question of cutting summer school had long been resolved. If programs like band and art are successful they shouldn't be considered extra. And it has been proven that summer school does work for those youngsters who need the additional help summer and after-school programs provide.
The importance of being civic
Regarding "Don't know much about ..." (May 16, Editorial): This editorial addressed the need for the teaching of more history and foreign affairs in our schools. Recently, my local papers have also editorialized on this same lack in knowledge of US history, politics, and overall civics education.
As a retired teacher of these subjects, this fact upsets me. I question how any American can have the understanding necessary to judge our current involvement in the Middle East if he or she has no knowledge of what our nation stands for. I keep hoping that more and more of the bright students who have thoroughly studied these topics and could teach these fascinating subjects will start teaching a truly rewarding profession.
Regarding "Relation with Saudis gets trickier" (May 31): Your article on US-Saudi relations highlights cultural differences between the US and Saudi Arabia in its detail. Too often American writers fail to talk to those they write about or are relentless in publishing their personal opinions of the Arab world. Your humanity, by maintaining professional standards despite controversy, is welcome and much needed.
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