Move pot to farmland
Re “It’s past time to regulate medical marijuana” (Editorials, July 2): I appreciate the concern expressed in your recent editorial over the environmental harms of marijuana grows, especially here on the North Coast where I live.
While it is common for growers to procure a medical marijuana recommendation, most of the marijuana grown on the North Coast is sold out of state on the black market. Regulated grow sites should have to prove they sell only to dispensaries, with none diverted to the black market.
It is critically important to scale back the size and number of marijuana grows on the North Coast to redress the habitat fragmentation that has already occurred. Even a 2,000-square-foot site is too large when it is placed in a forest, and there are thousands of them. Marijuana cultivation needs to be moved from the forested mountains to real farmland.
Amy Gustin, Redway
Medals for all students?
Re “Families claim discrimination in school’s gifted program” (Page 1A, July 4): I wonder if the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Lubin Elementary School are the same parents who demand that their kids get equal playing time on the soccer field and start on the all-star team in spite of being less skilled than the other players.
After all, the notion of fairness and equality is far more important than hard work, achievement, talent, skill and accomplishment, right?
Were these kids denied admission to the Gifted and Talented Education program even though their test scores and grades were as high or higher than the other kids? Nowhere in the article did I see an apples-to-apples comparison of the plaintiffs’ scores to the other kids’ scores. All I read about was the mother of one kid complaining that her kids “deserved” it and that the admission policies were ambiguous.
Lesley Pilgrim, Sacramento
Lawsuit is not gifted
It is disturbing to learn that a group of five unhappy Lubin Elementary School families are suing the Sacramento City Unified School District. As the father of three, I fully understand the disappointment a parent or child might feel upon learning that the student’s performance does not qualify him or her to participate in a particular academic program, but life is full of disappointments.
As a retired elementary school teacher and a current substitute, I have had the great pleasure of meeting and talking with Principal Richard Dixon. He is one of the most dedicated, involved and encouraging administrators I have ever encountered.
To suggest that Dixon would have said that the GATE program is for “white kids” and that the student would have scored higher if the test had a little more “Tupac” is absurd. This frivolous litigation is going to cost the district a tremendous amount of scarce resources and cause a talented, young school administrator undue strain. These families should apologize and get on with life.
Karl Urban, Sacramento
GATE label can hurt
Many years ago, my child also had a hurtful experience with GATE. My child, Marcus Smith, attended Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Sacramento. As a third-grader, he was identified by his teacher as “gifted” and, as a result, was pulled from class along with a few other students to attend the afternoon GATE program.
I was pleased initially, but my feeling turned to dismay when, a few months later, he was rejected from the program because his high language scores were insufficient without equally high math scores. Unbeknownst to me, my son had Asperger’s syndrome, which explained why he was beginning to experience social exclusion from his peers. I protested in a letter to the Sacramento City Unified School Board because of the the destructive message sent to students excluded from GATE.
I support parents suing Lubin. They want their children to feel positive about themselves. As a teen, my son turned to prescription drugs to ease the torment. My gifted boy died in 2003, age 23. I don’t blame GATE, but the negative connotations of not “making GATE” seriously impacted him, and its negative potential remains in force today. The program needs to change.
Cecelia Royal, Nevada City
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