NC teachers already have a tough job. Stop turning classrooms into political arenas.

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Teaching history

Politics have entered my classroom, and it wasn’t me who put them there.

House Bill 324 will give parents authority to complain to administration about what we’re teaching, claiming it makes their child feel bad even if what we taught wasn’t Critical Race Theory.

As a history teacher I don’t teach anyone how they should feel about the past. I give students the materials, primary and secondary sources, and let them figure out what they believe on their own terms.

This bill instills fear of hurting feelings to the point that teachers will be pressured to censor history. None of us should have the authority to pick and choose what history should be remembered and forgotten.

Teachers already have a difficult job. N.C. legislators make it harder by placing a political arena in my classroom.

Jeanie Aday, Selma

Marijuana

As a physician, I object to Lewis Beale’s conclusion regarding legalization of marijuana in North Carolina. (July 11 Opinion)

Allowing marijuana for clearly defined and well-regulated medical use can be beneficial, but general legalization for “recreational use” is a poor idea since it is a recognized gateway for addictive drugs and has a malevolent effect on younger peoples’ brains.

Just because other states choose to legalize marijuana for general use doesn’t make it right or a wise choice. It is touted for its monetary benefits to the economy, but this is vastly overbalanced by its negative effect on the lives of many users.

Dr. Philip Pearce, Durham

UNC J-school

Ned Burnett’s July 11 column is an example of the hive mind of the academic left in action.

A better question might be why any of the Knight program beneficiaries have ever been granted tenure outside of the normal procedures.

The rush to sanctify Nikole Hannah-Jones’ 1619 Project seems shockingly disproportionate to those unfamiliar with the unlimited capacity of university administrators and faculty to grovel to self-proclaimed “woke” activists and professional Injustice collectors.

It is indeed difficult to achieve journalistic objectivity, but it was frequently managed by many in the past. It is a shame that the current standard at the Hussman School of Journalism denies the possibility of balanced reporting. Frankly, if I were Hussman I would not want my name associated with UNC any more.

Paul F. King, Raleigh

White men

I’m a 57-year-old white man. I’m a sixth generation North Carolinian who graduated from UNC in 1986, and I think it’s about time we stop letting old white men run things in our state and in our country. I’m sure they mean well, but their viewpoints are too narrow now and they’ve become unqualified to lead a diverse population such as ours. We need leaders to help guide us into a future that will be vastly different than the past they seem too eager to cling to. It’s time for a change.

Mark Kinlaw, Holly Springs

Homeless students

I was pleased to see the need for student housing mentioned in “Affordable housing options needed in Raleigh, Charlotte,” (July 9 Opinion).

The loss of affordable housing near campuses, a stagnant minimum wage, and rising costs of college tuition and fees contribute to homelessness among students. My research team found that nearly 10% of N.C. State students experienced homelessness in 2017 and that rate rose to 15% during the pandemic.

Rates are likely similar at other N.C. campuses. A group of concerned students, faculty and staff, and community members are launching an innovative solution. The HOST program (Housing Options for Students Today) will match college students at risk of homelessness with community members who volunteer to offer safe and affirming space in their home to the students.

This temporary home will allow time for students to continue their education while they work with HOST staff to obtain stable housing.

Mary Haskett, Raleigh

Electing presidents

We need to elect a president via a national popular vote. We vote for county and state officials via popular vote within the state. Following the same logic, and to be fair, we need to elect presidents via a popular vote within the country.

Larry Heyl, Durham



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