Letters to the editor for April 12, 2013

Volunteers are thanked

To the Editor:

National Volunteer Recognition Week is April 21-27. It’s a week for many special thank-yous as in Anoka-Hennepin School District­ over 10,000 volunteers contributed over 183,000 hours of work in Anoka-Hennepin schools last year!

Thank you to our strong band of community members coming to schools every day, helping students and staff.

Volunteers help students one-on-one with reading or math; lead groups of students; help coordinate school-wide reading programs; share information about work life and careers; help with clerical tasks; assist with coaching sports and academics; and make many other meaningful contributions that improve student learning.

Thank you to our terrific Anoka-Hennepin community – one that actively supports our children and youth by giving time and talent­ through the tough times and the good times.

Thank you to Anoka-Hennepin Volunteer Services staff who are committed to keeping the doors open for this concerned community, not only to see our schools in action but to be an important part of the action.

Thank you to school staff who adjust their activities so that volunteers can make meaningful contributions.

Thank you to many unsung heroes who support others – volunteering.

Families generously change their schedules and activities so that parents, grandparents, sons and daughters can volunteer.

Community members work together in nonprofits that advocate for and physically and financially help students and schools.

Thank you to faith communities who step forward and help meet families’ basic needs in these tough times so that their children can be ready to learn.

Finally, thank you to PTOs, PTAs, booster clubs, Anoka-Hennepin Educational Foundation, local businesses and other friends of public schools who work tirelessly and cooperatively so students receive quality education and activities.

In particular, PTOs and PTAs give critical financial support to the volunteer services program so that the doors of our schools can be open for the community.

They volunteer so that others can volunteer.

There’s a lot to celebrate in Anoka-Hennepin during National Volunteer Recognition Week!

Sue Archbold, Anoka-Hennepin volunteer services supervisor
Linda Rodgers, Anoka-Hennepin parent involvement coordinator

Day of silence

To the Editor:

I wanted to alert the  parents and guardians of middle and high school students about the upcoming Day of Silence scheduled for Friday, April 19. The following article was written by Laurie Higgins from the Illinois Family Institute. Ms. Higgins does an excellent job of exposing GLSEN and its allies who are targeting our young in our public schools at the taxpayers expense.  She has granted me permission to submit this article.

“On Friday April 19, 2013 the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is once again exploiting public schools to promote homosexuality and gender confusion as moral and normative through the political protest called the Day of Silence. A coalition of pro-family groups is urging parents to keep their children home from school on the Day of Silence, if your school is allowing students to refuse to speak in class.

“GLSEN’s Day of Silence is … disrupting the academic environment of thousands of high schools and middle schools around the country, exploits legitimate anti-bullying sentiment to undermine the belief that homosexual acts are immoral.

“GLSEN shamelessly exploits teen suicide in order to falsely impute culpability for teen suicide to conservative moral beliefs.

“GLSEN’s end game is the eradication of conservative moral beliefs and the creation of a social and political climate in which it is impossible to express them. Their cultural vehicle of choice for this radical social experiment is public education. What a strategic coup for homosexuals and their ideological allies: use our money to capture the hearts and minds of our children.

“Efforts to exploit public education for the purpose of eradicating conservative moral beliefs are dramatically increasing every year. Homosexual activists and their allies are aggressively targeting younger and younger children through ‘anti-bullying’ laws, policies and curricula; through the effort to nationalize ‘comprehensive sex ed,’ through laws mandating positive portrayals of homosexuality and gender deviance in curricula; and through events like the National Coming Out Day, Ally Week, Spirit Day, LGBT History Month, LGBT Pride Month, and the Day of Silence.

“And conservatives do virtually nothing. Our complacence makes us complicit in the damage done to our children and our culture. Moreover, we teach our children by example to be cowardly conformists. It’s time to resist and there’s no easier way to resist than to call your children out of school on the Day of Silence.

“Parents and guardians: Call your children’s middle and high schools and ask if students and/or teachers will be permitted to refuse to speak during class on Friday, April 19, 2013. If your administration allows students and/or teachers to refuse to speak during class, call your child out of school. Every student absence costs school districts money…

“If your administrator tells you that they do not permit students or teachers to refuse to speak in class, ask him or her how that is communicated to faculty and students and how it is enforced.

“The idea that homosexual acts are moral, good, or normative is not a fact. It is a non-factual, controversial moral belief. As such, no government employee or publicly subsidized institution has the ethical right to teach it to children implicitly or explicitly. It is entirely possible for schools to work toward the important goal of eradicating bullying without affirming or even mentioning homosexuality or gender confusion. There are many conditions for which students are bullied that are never mentioned or affirmed in public schools…

“Conservatives need to start acting and speaking as if we think our moral beliefs are objectively true. Conservative teachers need to create activities that require students to speak on the Day of Silence and conservative parents need to teach their children by example to take a stand for truth.”

These same activists were a strong force behind the lawsuit filed against the Anoka-Hennepin School District in addition to the proposed “anti-bullying” legislation in Minnesota known as the Safe and Supportive Schools Act.

If this legislation passes, it will be an administrative nightmare for school officials, administrators and school staff by inflicting a heavy burden and confusing legal responsibilities on them.

On top of that, this legislation would seriously undermine parental rights regarding personal family values and moral beliefs.

As Christians, we cannot let our principles and family values be trampled by these radical activists.  What will you do to protect your kids and grandkids from this monstrosity?

Laurie Thompson

Early learning opportunities

To the Editor:

Unfortunately, Minnesota faces a myriad of education challenges, none of which are easy or inexpensive to solve. But the good news is, we know what works: quality pre-kindergarten early learning opportunities.

Access to quality programs before the age of five is proven to improve school readiness outcomes for all kids. When kids enter school ready to succeed, they reap the benefits for the rest of their lives. And so does our state.

This is why people from all over Minnesota support investment in quality early education.

So that all children – regardless of family income or geographic location – have access to quality early learning programs that put them, and our state, on the best path to lifelong success.

As a state, we must provide the necessary resources to help families to choose quality early learning opportunities that prepare their children for lifelong success in school and in life.

This will require a significant investment by the state.

However, contrasted against the huge cost to all of us when kids aren’t prepared, it’s clear that ensuring every child has the opportunity to attend a quality early learning program is by far the best investment our state can make this year.

Kathy Johnston
Coon Rapids

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