Other ways to talk about Santa
Re “When a father has to slay Santa” (Forum, Dec. 27): It was disturbing to read Jon Ortiz’s article where he admitted killing Santa Claus several years ago by telling his 6-year-old daughter there is no Santa. Perhaps Ortiz should read the classic 1897 New York Sun column “Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus” where the question is resolved once and for all time.
Point in fact: this Christmas my 5-year-old grandson questioned how Santa could keep track of whether children all over the world have been naughty or nice. My 4-year-old granddaughter responded without hesitation: “Because he is magic.”
Bruce Shaffer, Elk Grove
Improve education to end poverty
Re “End child poverty, improve education” (Forum, Another View, Dec. 27): Paul Hefner seems to imply that poor kids can’t learn, good teachers can’t help poor kids learn, and parents of poor kids can’t think for themselves.
Students, teachers and parents know that poor kids do learn, good teachers transform the lives of kids in poverty and involved parents deserve our respect, not ridicule. Furthermore, characterizing parents who try to improve education as “serve(ing) up their anti-teacher claptrap” is offensive and divisive.
Nobody knows better than parents of the life-changing power of excellent teachers, and teachers understand how important parent involvement is for student success. If we are going to have a real shot at improving California education so that it can lift our children out of poverty, we will all need to work together.
Joy Wake, Carmichael
Act like black lives matter
Re “Black lives matter long before police encounters” (Viewpoints, Dec. 27): Robert Ross identifies four “warning points” that can help us tell if a young black man will end up in prison: reading proficiency, chronic absenteeism, truancy and school suspensions. But these are symptoms, not causes. The cause of all four is the breakdown of the black family. But Ross instead tries to blame the high incarceration rate on the symptoms.
Timothy Belke, Carmichael
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