Teach for America deserves praise
“Harsh exchange with Democrat lands a California Republican in the Capitol ‘dog house” (sacbee.com, April 03): It was disappointing to read that Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon punished Assemblymember Kiley just for questioning the Democrats’ record on education and for standing up for Teach For America. Are committee members not allowed to express concerns about bills? Are Democrats trying to silence Republicans and solutions for our failing education system? Teach for America is a great program that helps enthusiastic young people and underserved communities. To attack this program is unconscionable.
Don’t be a bully
“Harsh exchange with Democrat lands a California Republican in the Capitol ‘dog house” (sacbee.com, April 03): I’m disturbed that the Assembly Speaker can remove someone from their office space to the small “dog house” without notice and for political reasons. This appears to be bullying on the part of Speaker Anthony Rendon. We are trying to teach our children not to bully. What kind of an example are our legislators demonstrating? Also, this incident appears to be a misuse of political power.
They’re victims too
“Sacramento’s ‘community of victims’ fight law shortening sentences for young killers” (sacbee.com, March 31): Many of those quoted in Darrell Smith’s article support an erroneous belief, asserted by Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, that “individuals exercised extraordinary violence for no other reason than to exercise violence.” These “individuals” are 14- and 15-year-old children, many whom have been affected by traumatic experiences that may impact their decisions. At 15, I was arrested and convicted for murder. In my young and immature mind, the senseless act I committed made sense at the time. I was oblivious to how deep emotional issues were influencing my perception of the world. Sending kids into a violent adult prison system does more harm and doesn’t promote healing for everyone impacted by crime. Young people are subjected to horrible lifelong trauma within the adult prison system. This leads to serious emotional issues. Senate Bill 1391 holds children accountable while addressing traumas through age-appropriate services. When kids heal, so does the rest of the world.
Profiles of courage
“For mentally ill homeless people, escaping life on Sacramento’s streets can be hard” (sacbee.com, April 07): We need to hear more stories like Nancy Weaver Teichert’s relationship with “Sandy,” a mentally ill homeless person. To trace their friendship of 30 years starting when Teichert was a “Big Sister” to 14-year-old “Sandy” provides a glimpse into the complexities of the homeless situation for the mentally ill. This story is an honest, uplifting and disturbing insight into the plight of mentally ill people who do not have a support system. Given the circumstances, anyone of us could be a “Sandy” or a Nancy. This story and others like it are truly profiles of courage that should inspire us to find ways to commit ourselves to help create pockets of humanity for the less fortunate that surround us.
From one trauma to another
“State surgeon general’s prescription for a healthy Sacramento: Alleviating childhood trauma”(sacbee.com, April 03): Doctors almost universally fail to recognize that children with severe chronic illness or those who undergo multiple surgeries and hospitalizations are at risk for developing behavioral and physical problems later on due to toxic stress. Years after their treatment, these children and the caregivers who fought to keep them alive can be blindsided by severe problems that are debilitating for anyone.