Letters to the Editor: May 19 – 25, 2016
Eliminate Mason Football To Reduce School Budget
In their search for cost savings, the Falls Church School Board should accelerate the demise of football by eliminating it as a school-sanctioned activity. This would result in direct savings of approximately $50,000 per year, while only affecting 40 students across five grades (8-12). The fact that so few players are drawn to football across five grades suggests the waning popularity of the sport.
Moreover, elimination of the program may prompt even more cost savings by reducing the school district’s insurance premiums and other future costs related to the liability of this inherently dangerous activity.
This year’s budget process revealed that football is a loss leader among sports, and I do not appreciate having to subsidize brain damage when other educational needs are being sacrificed.
How Much Does IB Program Cost F.C. Schools?
The recent article about protecting the International Baccalaureate program from budget cuts [4 F.C. Principals Appeal to School Board to Protect IB K-12 Programs] left out some very important information that is crucial in deciding the value of the IB program: How much does Falls Church City Public Schools pay each year to the IB organization?
Once that is disclosed, then you can have a cost/benefit discussion.
Heleman Letter Used ‘Blame the Victim’ Argument
I refer to a letter in the May 12-18 News-Press by Beth Heleman objecting to a column by Charlie Clark about an appearance by a Palestinian comedian at a lounge in Arlington the previous week. I was present for the performance but was, sadly, not surprised by the letter, which was a classic “blame the victim” argument about the Palestine problem.
Description of the comedian as a generic “Arab Muslim” ignored the fact that he is a Palestinian-American law graduate with a Christian Orthodox mother and a Muslim father whose parents lost their homes, their land, and their future in the creation of Israel in 1948. Many people of good will are still unwilling to acknowledge that for the Palestinians, the struggle over the land became a zero-sum game (they came out “zero”) and that despite historic finger-pointing at them for mistakes of the weak, the creation of Israel was an ugly, violent event that has seen continued ugliness and violence as Israel occupied the West Bank, Golan Heights, and Gaza Strip in 1967, further expanding its territory at the expense of the local population. Citing legalistic rationales to blame the Palestinians for losing their country to the victims of Hitler’s Europe doesn’t hide the truth about what happened – much of it now being told by courageous Israeli historians.
John P. Richardson
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