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Published: Friday, 4/1/2011


Classroom time for our politicians

After reading your March 28 editorial "Teach for Ohio," and as a former teacher, I recommend that every political office seeker spend two years in a classroom.

What great background experience these men and women, when elected, would have when they discuss, address, and vote on public education issues.

Think of the educations these men and women have and the inspiration they could provide children in underperforming schools. They could make a difference and should not be required to student-teach, take the National Teaching Test, get teaching certification, take the necessary classes to renew a teaching certificate, or get their master's degree, which is now a requirement for teaching.

Eric Hanushek, an expert on education policy, told Ohio lawmakers there is little evidence that teacher training programs make anyone a better teacher.

So why do we have these requirements for education majors and teachers? It would save teachers a great amount of time and money.

Nancy Setzler



Disrespect shown to public employees

I have been a teacher for 36 years. Teachers, police officers, firefighters, librarians, and other public-sector employees don't go into their chosen professions for the money. Can you name a rich teacher, patrolman, or firefighter?

We entered a field of service because we wanted to help people. We do not make a profit; we are not a business. We serve the public. We get paid for our services through taxes.

I pay for my health benefits. I have money taken out of every paycheck for my pension. We are the middle class.

Teachers get laid off. No teachers have gone on strike in this area in 30 years. So why are we being attacked ("Labor-rights restrictions ready for Kasich to sign," March 31)?

The reason for so many protests and so much anger over Senate Bill 5 is that we cannot believe the utter disrespect shown to those who chose to teach, protect, or serve instead of going into the private sector or business.

Nancy VanVelzel



Don't stigmatize sex-crime victims

We know where we stand as women when men reserve the right to have sexual access to underaged girls without legal accountability and without a simple act of outrage, resistance, or protest.

The federal law against child sex trafficking is clear. Any minor in the United States who is involved in the commercial sex trade is a victim of human trafficking.

Former NFL star Lawrence Taylor was not charged under federal or state anti-trafficking law, even though precedent for convicting customers for trafficking was established in 2009 in Kansas during Operation Guardian Angel.

Customers have as much of a responsibility for sex trafficking as the trafficker. Without customers, there would be no demand.

Although victims suffer trauma while they are trafficked and struggle to be psychologically restored and regain trust in adults, we seem most concerned with Taylor's well-being. Because of his egregious actions, he was given probation and ordered to register as a sex offender. But not to worry, a hearing will be scheduled in April to identify how registering as a sex offender will negatively affect him.

Not only is it a shame that the victim, who had the courage to appear in court, was denied an opportunity to speak, she was further victimized by your story ("Taylor given probation," March 23) that referred to her as a prostitute. She is a victim of the crime of trafficking. The victim does not need to be further stigmatized by the label of prostitute.

Celia Williamson

Bexford Place

Editor's Note: The writer is a University of Toledo professor of social work and an international expert on child sex trafficking.


End funding for women's clinic

Last month, the pro-life organization Live Action conducted hidden-camera investigations at a dozen Planned Parenthood branches. Members posed as sex traffickers of underage prostitutes, seeking advice in obtaining abortions.

At six of these branches, Planned Parenthood employees showed a willingness to help sex traffickers and even offered advice on running their business.

The videos taken at these branches appear to show an institutional willingness on the part of Planned Parenthood to benefit from the business offered by sex traffickers.

Despite these and other revelations, the U.S. Senate voted against removing Planned Parenthood's federal Title X funding.

Especially in a time of national economic crisis, an organization such as Planned Parenthood should not be supported by taxpayers. Federal funding should go to organizations that help people, not ones that accept business from illicit sources.

Gregory Warrell

Oak Hill Court


Obama's remarks are hypocritical

President Obama's comments on Egypt, Iran, and Libya were hypocritical ("President says drive in Libya a success; Obama defends 'limited' mission," March 29).

He asked how Iran with its terrible human rights record could rejoice over the victory of the people of Egypt.

How can we, with our terrible record of allowing millions of unborn babies to be legally killed, rejoice over Egypt's victory? The President clearly sees the splinter in Iran's eye, but misses the plank in his own.

He finds it humanitarian to save a town in Libya and its people from slaughter, but says and does nothing to stop the slaughter of our unborn here.

Hospitals should give out a barrel of oil with each birth. Maybe this would open our eyes to the log impeding our vision.

Steve Cherry



Sad truth about red-light cameras

Tom Walton's March 28 op-ed column, "Smile, you're on traffic cam," about red-light cameras and their controversial safety and economic issues, leaves out one undeniable fact: They take millions of dollars out of the local economy. The city receives only a portion of the fines collected by RedFlex Traffic Systems, the Phoenix company that owns and operates all of Toledo's red-light cameras.

Dave Knepper

Penrose Avenue


Maintaining Toledo's roads

Money must be spent to upgrade and maintain roads annually. Each Toledo City Council member, Mayor Mike Bell, and his aides need to drive every Toledo street to understand the real conditions.

It was a bad decision to allow capital improvement funds to be transferred to the general fund. The city can use money earmarked for bulletproof glass at the water department, and the $60,000 proposed to hire a state lobbyist, to maintain Toledo roads this year.

Coletta Allen

Rocksberry Avenue


Politicians are taking us for a ride

Our politicians have been playing a game for a long time. They tell us that they will go to Washington or Columbus "to do the people's work."

All they do in office is try to figure out how to get re-elected and to make the other party look bad. It is just a game to them, and I'm paying for their fun.

I'm tired of listening to their rhetoric. They are making some of the worst decisions that could be made for our great country.

If your family cannot afford a new car or a nice vacation, do you buy either one? We have more common sense than career politicians.

They have to make tough decisions, step on a few toes, and get a little bruised to get this country back to fiscal solvency.

Something is going to hit the fan. When it happens, I will pay for it again. The politicians will lie about how hard they have been working and say that the other party was at fault.

Our elected leaders should make some tough decisions for the good of the country for a change -- not for themselves or their party.

Paul Herzig


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