Archive for Wednesday, August 19, 1998


August 19, 1998


To the editor:

I read with interest the article about K-NEA ``apologizing'' for supporting candidates in the recent primary election. There is no need to do this. The ads were truthful and hard-nosed. That's what politics is like! Some of the right-wing candidates for the State Board of Education and the Legislature are openly hostile to public education and would like to undermine its mission to educate all children. Some of these candidates and their supporters are not ashamed to repeat the ``big lie'' over and over to get elected. The lies typically follow this line: ``public schools are cesspools of violence and cannot be reformed or improved; teachers (i.e. K-NEA members) care about nothing except their income and job security; test scores are getting worse everywhere; all the schools are teaching `social engineering' not academics.''

None of this is `true', of course. There are kernels of truth in some of the big lies, but essentially the right wing is using the same propaganda techniques used in the past by other demagogues who want their own way at the expense of both the truth and the general good of society. As long as they can get their way and impose a specific version of ``morality'' on the rest of us, the ends justify the means.

K-NEA members can legitimately debate the content and tenor of their political pursuits. They should not, however, apologize for participating in the rough and tumble of politics. It's a legitimate function of a union and they must remember those on the other side are not shy about trying to put them out of business -- or at least drastically reducing their influence over both the public schools and the political process.

Paul R. Getto,

1449 N 1100 Rd.

A different tune

To the editor:

Quoting from the article ``These tunes mean KU,'' Aug. 15, p. 5A: ``It was only a few years after [Prof. E. H. S.] Bailey came up with the chant that an ambitious KU student, George Barlow Penny, penned the lyrics to the Alma Mater, `The Crimson and the Blue.'''

Penny was not a student at KU. He was the dean, 1890-1903. Subsequently he created the School of Fine Arts at Washburn, then joined the faculty of what is now known as the Eastman School of Music until his death in 1934.

Bunker Clark,

1618 Cypress Point Dr.

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