Payton Lewis, 9, at the Ujamaa Fest in Wyandanch on...

Payton Lewis, 9, at the Ujamaa Fest in Wyandanch on Sept. 25. The event brought together Black entrepreneurs from the tristate area. Credit: John Roca

Hateful behavior spurs positive action

Regarding recent efforts by extremists to intimidate local school boards, I have watched with alarm the increase in this hate behavior [" ‘Unruly’ crowds disrupting some school meetings," News, Oct. 3].

First, it was directed at the supposed teaching of critical race theory, then at mask mandates, and once again at efforts to teach our children about diversity, equity and inclusion. When we ask children to wear masks or teach them about DEI, we are teaching the importance of empathy. Thankfully, most parents and community members understand and support both mask mandates and DEI instruction.

The hateful behavior described in the article has spurred many of us to action. We have started the group Parents of Long Island for DEI, already with more than 1,000 members, united by our belief in the importance of fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in our schools.

We want our children to be successful and to contribute positively to society. That means teaching them the value and skill of empathy. We will work to ensure that school boards and administrators hear this positive message and act in our children’s best interests.

— Amanda Cohen-Stein, Miller Place

The writer is president of Parents of Long Island for DEI.

Essay on education is misleading

If one is the least bit concerned about the content and quality of education on Long Island, one need not search further than Roger Tilles’ essay ["The pursuit of equity in education," Opinion, Sept. 19]. Tilles seems to believe that members of the educational community fail to treat all students equally. If so, then they are not "all our kids." While it is true that school districts have different needs that should be recognized and met, I do not recognize how "diversity" comes into play.

It is true that students should have an equal opportunity to succeed. Tilles speaks as though there has been little progress in meeting our children’s needs and the demands of an ever-changing population.

He speaks as if the conditions our children experience are the same as in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. He has been on the state Board of Regents for 17 years, yet he doesn’t speak of his successes or contributions to quality education. Instead, he absolves us of our guilt and exhorts us to meet our responsibility.

I found his essay insulting, misleading and timeworn. If this is the best he can produce, then perhaps it’s time for him to step down.  

— Michael Berman, Wantagh

The writer is a retired teacher.

In recycling world, he’s a role model at 9

I loved reading the story about 9-year-old Payton Lewis ["The prince of recycling," Our Towns, Oct. 4]. At age 6, he first recognized a need, planned how he could make a change, and then did it. That is astonishing. It says a lot about his parents, who taught him to be a thoughtful person who cares about the world and the people in it, and then supported him in his efforts.

This is such a refreshing change from all the negative lessons of hate our children are getting from adult behavior these days.

— Rose Munch, Fort Salonga

Roads will be kept up by taxes to everyone

A reader asks how roads will be built and maintained while transitioning to an increased number of hybrid and electric vehicles ["Hybrid cars aren’t paying for our roads," Letters, Sept. 26].

His concern is prompted by the loss of revenue from gasoline taxes because these vehicles use less or no gasoline.

The answer is that since roads benefit everyone, even those who don’t drive, support for road maintenance and building should, and will inevitably, come from a general tax such as income tax, not from gasoline taxes.

Everyone eats, whether or not they drive, and transportation of food requires well-maintained roads. If you travel by bus or taxi, you’re dependent on roads. These are just a couple of many  examples of how roads benefit everyone, including those who don’t drive.

— Yale Rosen, North Bellmore

Electrifying highways a frightening idea

I am horrified at the plan to make our highways toxic ["Governor says Mich. to have nation’s first electrified road," LI Business, Sept. 24]. Electro-hypersensitivity syndrome, sensitivity to electromagnetic fields, has been of concern to the World Health Organization.

Instead of figuring out ways to protect the increasingly affected populace from this harmful radiation, government and industry are just creating more ways to make us sick.

All these "advances" full of electromagnetic radiation are touted as wonderful for the environment and wonderful for communication, but little concern is shown for their proven negative effect on the health of people.

— Barbara Novack, Laurelton


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