Ideas, legacy of pope live on, pointing the way for others

The pontiff lives on, as do all great religious leaders. It is never the person, but the ideas expressed by such individuals that make their eminence. So with their passing, mankind does not experience a spiritual loss, although humanly a leader has passed.

May our prayer today be that religious leaders' ideas permeate mankind so that there be peace in the world - that each of us listen instead of shout, that we be brethren.
Leo Crocker Rogers
Mesa, Ariz.

The greatest lesson that Pope John Paul II has taught humanity is virtus in arduis or "courage in difficulties": He lost his mother as a child and his father as a young man; he labored in a quarry; he struggled under the Nazis, losing Jewish childhood friends to the Holocaust; he struggled under the evil of the communist years; he was wounded by an assassin; and was handicapped by disease and old age.
Ken C. Arnold
Santa Monica, Calif.

Getting to the heart of Red Lake issues

I applaud your March 25 editorial "Red Lake and Emotional Literacy" for its honest assessment of the need to radically and positively change our schools, making their stated goal not the passing of a standardized test, but the development of individual students and the communities they are part of.

The editorial noted that "many schools teach tolerance and respect for diversity." Those words may at times sound like buzz words, but they are the principles that should guide education and will do much more to prevent school violence than old techniques such as security guards and metal detectors.
Chris Jones
Colfax, Wisc.

Why China doesn't have school shootings

Regarding Susan DeMersseman's March 31 Opinion piece, "It's not too late to stop the next teen shooter": I'm a Korean high school student living in China and studying at an American school.

Stress, frustration, depression, pressure, and torment are just as common here as in the States or anywhere else in the world. Do students here listen to angry music? Do some smoke and drink? Yes.

But do students here have access to guns and bring them to school one day and shoot everyone they see? No!

Teenagers around the world, including myself, all face similar hardships. But with virtually no access to guns in China, students turn to other alternatives to reduce stress and get on with life. Sports, theme parks ... anything other than a gun.

Ms. DeMersseman finishes the article by saying, "It might not be too late for one of us to make a difference."

To make a difference, ban guns.
Peter Jong-Woo Jeong
Guangzhou, China

'Zero-tolerance' misses mark

Regarding the March 31 article "Why tolerance is fading for zero tolerance in schools": The intent of zero-tolerance policies is laudable, but the one-size-fits-all procedure (i.e. mandatory suspension or expulsion) that many school districts have implemented is inflexible, harsh, and lacking common sense.

What is needed to support school policies are procedures that provide opportunities for administrators to exercise fairness, common sense, and sound discretion.

All forms of violence should have some consequences. But that doesn't mean the maximum sanction should be applied for every offense, nor is every infraction an offense.

What we fail to take into account is that actions by students can be mistakes, mischief, or mayhem.
Barbara Coloroso
Littleton, Colo.

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