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Published: Thursday, 4/1/2010

Economy gave rise to militia

Is it any surprise that the Hutaree, Michigan militia, or any other anti-government groups are making news ("9 in militia sought Christian uprising," March 30)?

Lenawee County is no different from most other Midwest counties hard hit by manufacturing job loss. Lenawee County suffers from double-digit unemployment with no sign of a meaningful recovery of middle-class jobs.

What future does a laid-off manufacturing worker have when middle-class jobs are shipped overseas to benefit the few instead of the majority? The federal government does little to create economic opportunity for these former members of the working middle class.

All we hear in well-funded media is divisive hate speech aimed to stir disenfranchised Americans to take action in ways that are not healthy for America.

I fear for the future of America.

Paul Wohlfarth

Ottawa Lake, Mich.

How can the Hutaree say its members are Christians and yet want to kill? They forgot the Sixth Commandment: "Thou shalt not kill."

They said they "planned to be soldiers fighting alongside Jesus Christ."Jesus is about love, kindness, and peace, not fighting or killing. Perhaps the militia needs to reread the Bible to understand what being a Christian truly means.

Lynda Urbaniak

Temperance, Mich.

The Christian militia group called Hutaree planned to murder police, then bomb the funeral in an attempt to overthrow the United States government. What happened to obeying the Sixth Commandment?

And what happened to adhering to the need to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's?

It seems Islam isn't the only religion that spawns crazies.

Joseph E. Pflager

Maumee

The key word in your March 29 article about Toledo Public Schools salaries is "some" ("Some in TPS make more than $100,000," March 29).

I don't know a teacher who makes close to that amount. As for teachers who get paid overtime, does this mean the time they spend every night grading papers, making lesson plans, recording attendance, writing parents notes, and making telephone calls? That isn't overtime. That is just part of being a responsible, dedicated teacher.

I taught summer school and never made close to $30,000; maybe it was $1,300. Where do I sign up? How about having schools pay for the supplemental materials we buy?

That some teachers make more than most only shows how dedicated we are. I and other teachers could shave enough money off the budget so that we would be out of debt. We are just teachers. No one listens to us.

Mary Gorrell Worthy

West Lincolnshire Boulevard

I am stunned that you felt the need to report the salaries of Toledo firefighters, police, and teachers.

We're talking about the people who rescue us, protect us, and educate our children. Can we really overpay them?

Bruce Meek

Kirkland Road

I have no problem with teachers making $100,000 or more. All your article pointed out was that the teachers actually earned this pay. Any teacher can defend every dollar of his or her pay much more than, say, the superintendent.

Teachers have years of education. In an advanced society, they have arguably the most important job and generally receive a pittance compared to their contribution. The low percentage of employees, many of whom aren't even teachers, receiving six figures does not mean they are overpaid.

The majority earn substantially less. Yet teachers often pay for their continuing education and use their own money to buy supplies and equipment that many parents can't afford and that should be provided by schools.

Teachers' salaries are tax money well spent, and certainly better than the money spent on bombs, prisons, corporate subsidies, and tax breaks.

Alex Read

West Laskey Road

As an educator, I was disgusted with your lambasting of the Toledo Public School faculty and staff over their salaries.

You seem to think these professionals are as corrupt as million-dollar-bonus CEO's. You do not consider the years of experience these top-paid teachers have accumulated, or the countless hours they have worked outside the classroom to help your children succeed, or the thousands of dollars they have spent out of their own pockets when budgets are tight.

You are promoting disrespect for teachers that undermines the importance of our task. We are hard-working professionals. We have earned high-level degrees. We are members of professional organizations. We have professional licenses.

We participate in professional development and continuing education. And we are under continuous evaluation in a constant quest to improve.

Gone are the stereotypes. Teaching is a profession, and it is vital to the future of America. We had better invest accordingly.

Darren P. Wurz

Holland

To those who believe that poor test scores equal bad teachers: How can teachers educate students who are not at school regularly?

Halfway through this school year, the average absence in my classroom was 10 days. By the end of the year, the average number of days missed in my classroom will be about 15.

Is it a teacher's job to bring students to school? I already make phone calls to their homes when they are absent.

Is it my responsibility to make sure they are at school on time and have had breakfast? The school district provides breakfast and I spend my money for snacks each day for my students.

My profession is to educate.Just think of what I could do for these students if I only had to educate them and not be a mother, father, nurse, doctor, counselor, and dietitian.

And yet people think it's my fault that they are not passing tests. You want to cut our pay, our teachers, our nurses. Where will our children be if you take more from them?

Tara Stubleski

Erie, Mich.

I am a Toledo Public Schools teacher. As most everyone who reads The Blade knows, it is sharp and vengeful, wielded with apparent effort hacking, slicing, and stabbing at the bloodied carcass of Toledo and TPS, leaving little more than negative imagery of once-proud Toledo and its schools.

Toledo is full of wonderful, smart people. Many are products of TPS, with great goals that they believe can't be met in Toledo. They don't believe in Toledo because of what you tell them, so they will leave.

Toledo and its citizens are weary of the never-ending black cloud that unfortunate events in our world has placed there, and that you make certain stays there. You are apparently honed for a furious war against the people and the city.

Why?

David F. Smith

Maumee



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