Readers comment on attacks on teachers, baby formula, gun laws and more

·6 min read

Teachers are not the enemy

The culture war is here. Time to buckle up, folks — there is fresh outrage for you daily.

This is what most politicians in America really want, us at each other’s throats over things that don’t matter. As a teacher who has been in this state for a number of years, allow me to share some truth with you.

Critical race theory has never been taught in K-12. The latest law fixes a problem that does not exist.

Social-emotional learning is not communism or socialism. How dare we teach kids how to recognize and handle emotions!

Transgender athletes make up far less than 1% of all student athletes, yet there are laws in 30 states banning them.

Instead of fighting over topics like these, how about we actually take on things that matter? Although we have many parents who are deeply involved in their children’s lives, we have a lot who aren’t.

We have a lot of parents who consider us daycare and do not care what their kids do, as long as they aren’t in trouble. We have children who refuse to bring needed supplies to school, who refuse to follow the rules and who don’t want to learn.

Throwing a bunch of culture-war nonsense into the mix is making it worse.

Please keep in mind that for every story you read about a teacher who is teaching outside of content, there are 1,000 or more of us out there working really hard to make sure your child can read, write and think critically. Education is not brainwashing or grooming, and it is time for this dangerous rhetoric to stop.

Teachers are not the enemy. Without education there is no government, no society, no peace at all. Education should be the top priority of every administration and every household.

James Elmore, Ocala

Baby formula crisis

Please, folks, reason this out before you just jump to conclusions. I admit a prejudice because I am an Abbott Laboratories retiree. Here are the facts: Abbott was producing more baby formula than all the others combined, but in fairness there are two other major suppliers. The "chain of custody" for the formula is such that Abbott is no longer in control of it after it leaves Sturgis, Michigan, in the distribution pipeline and ultimately into the hands of the consumer.

I won't speculate on how the product got contaminated. We're talking about millions of feedings per day that were produced. If it was this plant's lack of hygiene, wouldn't you expect many, many more adverse reactions? Sure you would! It would be more believable if there were thousands of illnesses. Nevertheless, it was unfortunate that a handful of infants got sick and two died.

The FDA chose to shut Abbott's Sturgis, Michigan, plant down, stopping this important product's production and distribution without sufficient proof or backup from other manufacturers to meet demand. I say, it is statistically impossible for Abbott to be guilty. The FDA has now admitted this, but our young children are suffering

Next the taxpayers will suffer, as alternate products are purchased at higher cost! By the way, the overseas product will not be identical to U.S. products, so we could see more adverse events!

These are the facts, folks, and the FDA did this to us. Classic government overreach and bureaucracy in action. I hope we see some major changes in our federal government, very quickly.

Steve Ellis, Ocala

Blaming the gun

In response to Bill Cotterell's column in the June 5 Star-Banner regarding gun laws: Democrats tend to look at only the facts that support their argument and blow off any other information. The First Amendment is in place to stop exactly what far-left-leaning Democrats are doing in trying to move the U.S. toward socialism, where we'll no longer have any say in how our government is run.

The problem regarding gun laws has come about because of shootings where innocent people are killed by someone who wants to make some far-fetched point. I remember when violent video games first came out and the uproar from Republicans was loud and clear. We were told to sit down and shut up because there was going to be no censorship as the violent videos wouldn't create problems.

Well, here we are many years later with problems that surely seem violent-video-related to me, and the left is busy blaming an inanimate object instead of the person actually pulling the trigger. I don't know how to identify who these violent trigger pullers will be as that's above my pay grade, but I do know blaming the symptom, the gun, instead of the cause, the violent trigger puller, won't solve the problem.

James Niemeyer, Ocala

The fall of our country

I am 80 years old, a registered Democrat voting since I was 21 who voted for two Republican presidents and one Republican governor. Why? Because I felt they would be the best choice. Nothing against their opponents; I just liked their ideas better.

Never in my lifetime would I have expected to see what is happening today to our Congress, values and country. Watching the day of the insurrection to our Capitol, I held back tears. How have we fallen so far as a country? I remembered the comments made by Republicans who were horrified and told stories about what they had endured during the attack.

And now, some seem to have complete amnesia about what they said; others just stay silent and vote as they are told so they won’t be shunned.

Our country cannot be successful unless we have a strong two-party system; people who will stand up for their beliefs and be willing to compromise at times — just the way our Congress was until President Obama was elected and the hate and prejudice raised its ugly head. So, the Republicans voted for Trump and we watched as our country became divided with hate and lies.

Trump lost the election; every American knows this is true, but for some unknown reason Republicans in Congress are afraid to acknowledge. Why? The man can’t hurt them. He is being investigated for numerous financial actions. Through the insurrection footage and testaments, we all know he lied and worked to destroy our American system of voting.

I fear for our country — and all of us in the coming years — if members of Congress refuse to stand up for what’s right. As for today's voters, be strong and be informed of what is really happening in our country and which candidate is fighting for you.

Kathleen Riley, Summerfield

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This article originally appeared on Ocala Star-Banner: Letters on teachers, the baby formula shortage, gun laws and more