“Teacher under fire for showing graphic abortion videos at Sacramento middle school” (sacbee.com, June 12): I am a student of Jenny Thomas at Sutter Middle School. I was in the class as she presented the abortion videos. All this controversy is not an accurate reflection of who she is as a teacher. Every day, she encourages us to make mistakes, as we’ll learn from them. She made a mistake, but that happens to everyone. Without a doubt, she’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. She taught the material in a way that made science class fun and interesting. Learning in Ms. Thomas’ class didn’t feel like work, since she always came up with creative ways to teach, whether it was a parody of “Hollaback Girl” about the Bubonic Plague or a DNA extraction where we took out a strawberry’s DNA. She should not be judged for doing exactly what she taught us to do: make a mistake and take accountability for it.
“Will the next big campaign in Sacramento be rent control?” (sacbee.com, June 6): I am a Sacramento homeowner, a state employee, a member of SEIU and opposed to rent control. I own three single-family rentals – two I inherited from my mother and one I purchased. My mother worked hard to buy several homes and I am working hard to hold onto them. After taxes and maintenance, I don’t make much money. If rent control passes, it will be difficult and expensive to make improvements and impossible to pay to relocate any of my tenants.
We need housing affordability. But rent control will backfire. The midtown renaissance will grind to a halt and we’ll be left with unfulfilled potential. Midtown is finally reaching a critical mass as a vibrant cultural, food and music scene. We are turning the corner, becoming a place where young people like me want to move back after college and build their lives in a desirable urban landscape. I live in an apartment in Alkali Flat. If rent control is implemented, most of us would not be able to find a decent apartment. The momentum of midtown would disintegrate, development projects would stop and none of the proposed projects would break ground. We’d still have Golden 1 Center and a few bars and restaurants, but all the vacant lots and dilapidated buildings would remain vacant and dilapidated.
Vote for John Cox
“Who is John Cox? Trump-backed Republican faces Newsom in California's governor race” (sacbee.com, June 6): I hope John Cox is ready, but I fear that a lightweight conservative is exactly what Newsom was looking for from a Republican candidate. Look at Newsom's campaign ads in the weeks leading up to the primary. While Newsom's ads attempted to contrast himself with Cox, the content described Cox with every conservative credential that a Republican could hope for in a candidate. Newsom's campaign ads should have been considered a campaign contribution. While I would have preferred a true conservative like Travis Allen, I will support Cox. Hopefully he will find a way to live up to the ideals that conservative Californians are fighting for – more jobs, less regulations, no sanctuary cities and rule of law.
Message for ICE
“Caged children, lost allies, neo-Nazis: What Trump supporters have done to America” (sacbee.com, June 11) ICE’s actions are a horrifying echo of the worst totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. ICE gives us nightmare images of children sleeping in foil blankets on concrete floors in cages, and toddlers torn crying for their mothers. ICE is creating thousands of traumatized children and families. The echoes will haunt us for a generation. I commend Sens. Feinstein and Harris for proposing legislation to halt this. But I don’t hold out much hope, given the silence of Republican senators, and the gloating of Trump, Sessions, and Kelly. Meanwhile, children are suffering. To ICE I have a message. “I was just following orders” was thrown out as a defense at the Nuremberg trials. It’s time for you to reconsider your participation in crimes against humanity.
Laurel Beckett, Davis
Fixing the co-op
“Sacramento's most bitter political fight may be unfolding at a local grocery store” (sacbee.com, June 12): My perspective was shaped as a member of the co-op’s Policy Committee during a review of the existing bylaws for recommended updates. The co-op's existing bylaws and governance structure have allowed it to grow. Updates are needed, but the review process needs to follow adopted “cooperative principles” that are the foundation of the business model. Mr. Arnett and key board leadership are trying to shove their preconceived “solution” to many non-existent problems onto members. The intent seems to be concentration of power and to eliminate any meaningful participation by members in governance and policy deliberations, limiting members to be “customers” who buy stuff.
“Rocklin teacher says cyberbullying drove her from the classroom” (sacbee.com, June 7): Shame on the Rocklin Unified School District for leaving teacher Amy Estes to stand alone amid a volley of cyber abuse. Shame on us, whether through participation or indifference, for allowing this toxic behavior to fester. Love is love is love is love. Be better, not just in lip service.
A lesson learned
This is a teachable moment. Teach the students involved manners and respect. Teach the Rocklin Unified School District how to properly discipline out of control students who think bullying is cool. These students should be learning what words are derogatory and dehumanizing. Can't we all learn just how to get along with each other?
“A 'rebellion' mounts among community college professors as California pushes for change” (sacbee.com, June 12): My daughter teaches history at a community college in Southern California. She loves her job. Really loves it. She feels the same way about most of her students. Many of the young people she teaches are ex-military and are the first in their families to attend college. Some have PTSD. As a result, she teaches more than history. She teaches them to write and to think independently and to have confidence in their abilities. Because she does not teach online courses she has the opportunity to understand the difficulties some of them face. I would hope that any changes made in Community College funding are not allowed to dehumanize the system.
“Want economic justice? Get behind sales tax hike” (Editorials, June 7): Increasing the sales tax will not help the poor. It is a regressive tax, hurting the poorest the most and discouraging business. Steinberg doesn’t understand that the chance in life a third grader in south Sacramento may have versus one in east Sacramento depends on the environment in which they live, the values of their peers and family. Any help will do little unless the people themselves deal with their endemic problems and stop blaming others. Families must demand honesty, respect, responsibility, excellence of their child by their child, and demand he or she stay away from peers with bad influences, have high moral standards, excel in school and believe in their future. When that happens, a tax will help.
Bill Jurkovich, Citrus Heights