Roger Tilles at a state Board of Regents meeting in...

Roger Tilles at a state Board of Regents meeting in February 2020.  Credit: Hans Pennink

Knowing we are all one is key concept

We should applaud the New York State Board of Regents and the efforts of Long Island Regent Roger Tilles, in particular, in promoting the approach of diversity, equity and inclusion ["How race is taught in LI classrooms," News, Jan. 18].

There is, however, a point of view that might be helpful to further explore this deeply rooted and divisive issue that has not been addressed: that of science. In this case, biology.

As humans, we need to be reminded that we all are members of the same species, Homo sapiens. As such, we can donate vital organs and blood to save each other’s lives as a matter of course.

And yet, so many of us concentrate on our social and cultural differences rather than the core sameness that defines us all.

— Victor Caliman, Kings Park

Our national conversation about race, racism and privilege needs to include young people. Limiting classroom discussions of this important topic — in the name of "comfort," no less — deprives students of the knowledge they will need to be informed adults.

It also reflects a lack of faith in young people’s ability to think critically and to come to grips with complex issues and ideas.

While there should be plenty of room for debate and differences of opinion in classrooms, there should be none for fear, cowardice or silence.

— Richard Conway, Massapequa

‘Calling the shot’ can be fatal move

A photo showed a woman protesting vaccine mandates holding a sign that included "I call the shot, NOT YOU" ["High court mandate ruling hypocritical," Letters, Jan. 24]. Really?

What happens when you’re in the hospital suffering from effects of the coronavirus and wishing you had gotten a shot?

Did your children have to be vaccinated before they went to school as youngsters? Ours did, and no questions were asked.

We received polio vaccines in 1954, no questions asked. We saw children in iron lungs and we didn’t want to be them. But these people protesting see others who weren’t vaccinated in hospitals dying. Does that not scare them? Some unvaccinated women died days after giving birth, several having said they wished they had gotten the vaccine. How sad.

Only with herd immunity can we fight this virus. We all have to work together. Our schoolteachers are putting their lives on the line every day to teach our youth. Don’t fight them.

And masks are important, especially in schools since some students are not vaccinated.

— Camille Morselli, Islip Terrace

Sensitivity needed in picking H.S. photos

A photo on the top of a page shows the face of a Wantagh High School wrestling match winner atop his opponent ["Wantagh anchors win it," High School Sports, Jan. 23]. The face of his opponent is not shown.

Another photo, on the bottom of the page, also shows the winner on top of his opponent ["CSH fends off unexpected foe"]. The face of this losing opponent, though, is shown.

With teenage years being so important in the development of self-image, I appreciate the discretion used in the top photo not showing the face of the kid on the bottom. Not so in the other photo.

It is one thing for a losing wrestler’s face to be seen by everyone in a gym. It is another thing to have his face shown, at the moment of loss, to the many who read high school sports. It may make some self-conscious kids hesitate to sign up for wrestling.

— Carol Ludwig, Wantagh

The writer is a retired teacher.

Organ donations from Mora important for all

Kudos for the editorial about NYPD Officer Wilbert Mora’s organ donations, highlighting the plight of patients awaiting lifesaving transplants ["Mora’s gift is a model for all," Jan. 27].

Four moving human-interest articles on organ donation also have appeared in Newsday in the past three months, with the most recent on Jan. 11 ["Man receives heart of pig," News].

All these items show the desperate need for organs. New York State is way below the national average for the number of registered donors and has the most people on waiting lists.

Many kidney recipients often travel to other states where the waiting lists are shorter to get a quicker transplant. A kidney can be donated while one is alive because each person has two kidneys. Partial livers can also be donated because of the organ’s size.

Other organ transplants are performed after the donor dies. People should make sure they are registered donors. It will take everyone working together to raise awareness and make inroads into this desperate situation.

— Dr. Lionel U. Mailloux, Great Neck

The writer is a clinical professor of medicine emeritus at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.