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Rational plans needed for schools

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks during an event

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House on July 9, 2020. Credit: AP/Evan Vucci

In a not-so-thinly veiled agenda to push for private school education over public school education, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos proposed that money be given directly to families so they can shop for non-public schools that promise to reopen fully in the fall [“DeVos persists with push to have schools open,” News, July 13].

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, last fall, 50.8 million students attended public schools while 5.8 million attended private schools. Even if the administration’s approach were viable and had Congress’ approval, it is a virtually impossible option. Do the math. Instead of offering assistance and reassurance to the overwhelming majority of American children and their families, DeVos and the current administration offer threats to withhold funds for our schools, not solutions.

At a time when families of school-age children, teachers and administrators are rightfully cautious and even fearful about returning to school during a persistent pandemic, we need rational plans for a safe, successful reopening of our schools coupled with the support of compassionate leadership.

Victor Caliman,

South Huntington

Be prepared if police are defunded

The ideas of defunding and eliminating police forces seem to be gaining popularity [“Do you want police reforms?” Opinion, July 13].

With unchecked rioting, looting and hooliganism, our society is taking a frightening turn for the worse. If we do not have law enforcement, who needs the law? If we have no law, who needs a legislature to create laws? Who needs an executive (supervisor, mayor, governor) to enforce laws? Who needs judges to interpret and apply the law? Let’s eliminate politicians, government officials and bureaucrats. Who needs them? Think of the money we’ll save!

Before we do that, though, we must ask for monetary grants to purchase barbed wire for our homes, guard dogs, food reserves, guns with plenty of ammunition and possibly some anti-personnel mines. Dogs will alert us to danger, the wire and mines will stop or delay intruders, and guns will ensure our safety.

I lived like that 50 years ago on isolated hilltops as a soldier in Vietnam. For the most part, it worked. I know I can live like that. Can the rest of you?

John Condon,

Huntington Station

Difference between Trump and Fauci

I have learned that in life you adapt from what you have learned. President Donald Trump has said that Dr. Anthony Fauci is “a nice man, but he has made a lot of mistakes.” He referred to Fauci saying earlier in the year there was no need for face masks at the time. Here is the difference between the two men: One learned things had changed, and he changed his recommendations reflecting the new information, and the other man did neither. One strongly advocates face masks and social distancing, and the other holds rallies without either required. Trump has failed to grasp new information, and we are all at risk because of his inability to do so.

Steve Boyce,

Dix Hills

Lee was a traitor, like Benedict Arnold

A century and a half ago, this country was divided by differences over states’ rights and emancipation. Today, the president divides us. A long overdue realization seeks monuments honoring imperfect and often misguided men removed from our landscape [“Retiring old ideas, making changes,” Letters, June 22].

The president refuses to do so. One could argue that tearing down statues pell-mell will not erase the truth: that our heroes were flawed and products of their times. But did their legacies make up for their shortcomings? Where Gen. Robert E. Lee is concerned, it’s a no-brainer. President Donald Trump insists Lee is a cherished figure, someone to be remembered and honored. Regrettably, nothing could be further from the truth. Lee was a traitor, an officer who betrayed his West Point oath: Duty, Honor, Country. He desecrated those words. He placed his allegiance to his home state above his country and led a rebel army in hope of overthrowing the American government.

As we experience a heightened consciousness of how painful slavery and its aftermath are to every American of color, figures like Lee must be allowed to disappear quietly. A part of our history, sure, but not one to be commended. And certainly not one to be glorified.

Salvatore Gentile,

Northport

Win-win idea for cruise ship dining

Most people likes to eat out, especially by water. Cruise ships are docked, idle and losing money [“Cuomo: NYC indoor dining will be postponed,” News, July 2].

The ships have large decks and kitchens, so put dining tables on decks six feet apart and serve lunch and dinner. On the water with pretty views of Manhattan — what else is needed? Don’t forget to bring your face mask.

Nina Vangeli,

Valley Stream

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