Letters to the editor | February 22, 2008 | Danville Express | DanvilleSanRamon.com |


Danville Express

Perspective - February 22, 2008

Letters to the editor

Give us our children with no strings attached

Dear Editor:

Ah, homework - a subject near and dear to my heart.

Homework is the single biggest problem with the breakdown of our families. Every night we are set up for a confrontation with our children. These children have been "on" all day at school. Remember, we are in a very competitive environment, this is hard school work. The children are sent home to continue their school work. We are jumping all over them to get it done and sometimes doing it for them. Is this really helping them learn?

Does anyone know how many kids are breaking down at night because they are exhausted from keeping it together all day? I do. I've asked them, lots of them. I've talked to parents who wonder if it's just their child because no one else will admit their child is struggling. I've worked at both elementary and middle schools for 10 years as a long term volunteer. I talk to these children every day. They are stressed. Very stressed. Then add the social element and you have a whole new layer of stress.

I have two teenagers who are good and nice people. Every day including weekends we have this unfortunate setup for confrontation over homework. Are there kids that can handle the work load? Yes, and good for them, they are superstars.

Is there a solution? Yes. Have the children go to school from 8:30 or 9 a.m. and stay until 4 or 5 p.m. every night. Give us our children with no strings attached when the day is done. All projects get done at school. Nothing is ever sent home other than a good book to read.

Once we have eliminated the nightly confrontation we can start doing things that are fun and being families again. We can absolutely meet both objectives by thinking beyond the scope of old methods.

Patty Paisal, Danville

Scary cover photo

Dear Editor:

With trepidation, I opened your Feb. 15 issue - its cover depicting a sexagenarian volunteer blasting away with a pistol in service to making ours "a safer town." As a longtime resident, I've never worried that Danville is under-policed. Indeed, I've suspected the opposite whenever I see officers, often working in tandem, stopping motorists at one of our several quaint speed traps scattered around town. I've wondered whether Danville's Finest have enough to do - especially, I should add, when I'm the delinquent to whom they're attending.

The article reveals that Danville, while not issuing firearms to posse members, is providing a cop fantasy camp for adults, replete with weapons training fun and police car driving. Frankly, the image of a breathless accountant careening around town in a black-and-white does not share space with my personal notion of greater safety. And although we're told the volunteers get to do actual police work, it seems to consist of parking tickets and parades. There's apparently also some foot-patrol duty in Danville's notorious bistro district, but statistics about whether thefts there are down are conspicuously absent. It's even called a Police Academy, although any association with the eponymous movie franchise must be unintentional.

So, although my worst fears of vigilante mayhem weren't realized, I wonder - how does this program make our town safer? Is it at all cost effective, in terms of police time and direct expense? And where can I get one of those cool uniforms?

Tom Fredericks, Danville