Letters to the Editor

Opinion: Don’t blame charters for Durham school segregation

Why are families leaving DPS?

Regarding your Facebook Live interview with Durham Mayor Steve Schewel:

Considering everything that’s going on in Durham why is the mayor, who has zero jurisdiction over local schools, fanning the flame of the politically toxic conversation on charter vs. traditional schools?

If we are serious about fixing our schools in Durham, we have to understand and deal with the reasons families are leaving for other options including private schools. To my knowledge there has not been any official survey and/or study of families who left DPS. You cannot fix a problem you have yet to identify.

Playing the blame game is fun politically and it’s red meat for others, but overall it’s ineffective and disconnected from the average family in Durham who is looking for the best option for their child (not to say charters and private schools are the best option).

There are 54 schools in DPS; of that, I suspect the 23 magnet schools have uncoupled more neighborhoods than charter schools Admittedly, charters and private schools perhaps have aided in some respects.

We still have for the most part segregated housing and schools in Durham. Durham County is 42 percent white, 35 percent black, 14 percent Hispanic and 9 percent other; yet these numbers don’t correlate to the demographics of DPS which are 18 percent white, 44 percent black and 30 percent Hispanic. Begging progressive (mainly white middle- to upper-middle-class residents) families to return to DPS seems counter productive considering I would think a true progressive would want full self-governed integration. Wait .... do we not want moderate or conservative families to return to DPS?!? Any rate, can we stop playing politics with our children?

Antonio Jones


Give us better pens

I voted Thursday. I have a lot of tremor in my hands and found it very difficult to fill the appropriate blocks. If the Board of Elections would provide pens like Sharpie fine or broad point, then each person would be sure their vote is counted.

Phil Lawless


Civic-minded citizens

I want to praise the group of African-American citizens who assisted the voters at Durham downtown voting polls. They were so helpful, friendly, and it made the experience a real pleasure for me and two other senior handicapped voters. What would we do without these kind civic-minded citizens who volunteer to help keep our country alive and well? I applaud them and thank them. It makes us proud of Durham.

Tom Hardison


Electing Democrats

To those who argue that we must reduce government spending because of burgeoning deficits (caused by recent tax reform), we must answer that the rich can pay more so that our environment is adequately protected and there is affordable health care for all. Electing Democrats is clearly preferable to a continuation of the catastrophic and immoral policies being implemented by current Republican-controlled state and federal governments.

Richard Cramer

Chapel Hill

End Saudi relations

I am glad that people in the government, and media, are finally talking about some of the bad things that the Saudi Arabian dictatorship is doing.

Saudi Arabia is one of the most illiberal, and anti-Christian, countries on the planet. The conservative House of Saud does not believe in democracy, equality, civil liberties, or dissent They don’t believe in the freedoms of speech, press, and religion. There is the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, support for the Taliban, creation of the Islamic State, etc. Remember 9/11? The majority of the terrorists that attacked on that day were from Saudi Arabia, not Iran. Women, Christians, and Jews have more rights in Iran than they do in Saudi Arabia. There are synagogues and churches in Iran, but not Saudi Arabia. There are Jewish and Christian Iranians. The punishment for a Saudi Arabian citizen that converts to Christianity is death. When it comes to punishment Saudi Arabia allows torture, castration, maiming, decapitation and even crucifixions.

The Trump administration should end its friendly relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Chuck Mann


Election letters

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