Deer seen on Shelter Island in April. The state Court...

Deer seen on Shelter Island in April. The state Court of Appeals has ruled that a bow is not a firearm and can be used to hunt deer.   Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Kids’ accountability, teachers needed

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona correctly stated, "We must make up for lost time" and "students have suffered enough" in the pandemic ["Education chief: Schools must recoup ‘lost time,’ " News, Jan. 28]. However, as usual, government response to education problems is more about public relations than reality.

First, the secretary is half-right in suggesting districts hire more counselors, social workers and mental health workers, but what about teachers? Yes, students who’ve fallen behind need "tutoring," also called "extra help." Class sizes also need to be smaller to accommodate increased individual attention. More teachers, therefore, are necessary to provide the extra instruction.

Second, and some will balk at this, students must be held accountable for what they’ve learned. I’ve heard from colleagues, friends and family in education that too often students received a "ride" into the next grade even though they failed to attain needed proficiencies because of the shortcomings of remote learning. A culture of responsibility must be restored because passing unqualified children does not do them or the schools justice.

If the two caveats aren’t addressed, the problem of "lost time" will only fester into a general sickness with students suffering the worst outcomes.

— Hank Cierski, Port Jefferson Station

It is not OK for hunters to kill deer

I am against the shooting and use of bows to slaughter deer ["Ruling for hunters: Bow is not a firearm," News, Feb. 11]. This is a case that went to the state Court of Appeals, which ruled, in effect, that it is OK to kill deer under certain circumstances. The method is immaterial. Killing is killing. I would have preferred a ruling that respects an animal’s life, one that protected deer.

I have been a pet owner for 57 years and have extreme respect for animal life. While respecting the intelligent people who make the laws, those laws do not consider the mental state of people who purposely hurt living creatures.

There are other methods to control animal populations, and there is enough food supply to make this killing unnecessary.

— Julie L. Newman, West Babylon

The state Court of Appeals’ ruling that a bow is not a firearm should not come as a surprise, but asserting that a bow is different from a gun does not imply that bow-hunting cannot be regulated nor imply that it shouldn’t be.

Long Island hunters — many of whom are "weekend warriors" who got licensed via an online questionnaire and are learning as they go — put our children, pets and neighbors at risk while stalking in our backyards and near our school yards.

And with studies showing that half of all deer shot with a bow are crippled but not recovered, bow-hunting has been shown to be one of the cruelest and most inefficient forms of hunting, even for the most skilled hunter. It is simply not an instant-kill method.

I encourage municipalities looking to protect humans and nonhumans alike not to be deterred by the ruling and to ban bowhunting.

— John Di Leonardo, Riverhead

The writer is president of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature.

A bow and arrow is a weapon, just like a gun. These weapons injure, and they kill. Why are so-called hunters on Long Island using these weapons to kill deer?

The deer are in well-populated areas, and there should be no hunting there. This is 2022, and hunting should no longer be an option, along with wearing animals’ skins, eating animals or using animals for entertainment. It is morally and ethically wrong.

When most defenseless deer get shot by a gun or struck by a bow and arrow, they do not die immediately. They can suffer for days. This is not OK. They have nowhere to run, nowhere to hide in populated areas. This is a sport? This is fun?

We are breeding more of these "hunters" by letting this go on. Stop all hunting on Long Island — now.

— Patti Olsen, Wantagh

U.S. bridge repairs are long overdue

The American Society of Civil Engineers has stated that more than 45,000 bridges in the United States are in poor condition ["Meaning of bridge ratings," Nation, Jan. 30].

President Joe Biden should be praised for passing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to correct the situation. And here’s hoping the money is used for the intended purpose.

The United States is by far the richest nation in the world, so one should question the failures of our local, state and federal governments to have allowed our infrastructure to deteriorate so much.

— Chet Gerstenbluth, Plainview
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