Letters: KC readers discuss teens’ mental health, an unfair GOP knock and voting rights

·3 min read

Human foibles

I have a solution for the mental health crisis facing teens: Let’s allow them to make mistakes. If I could end the letter there, I would, and the answer is that simple.

In today’s world, with everything captured on camera and society so quick to judge, our children aren’t allowed to have a tiny misstep — just one, and they are forever canceled.

I am grateful that when I attended school, making mistakes was an expected part of the childhood curriculum.

- Blish Mize Connor, Mission Hills

A low blow

I saw Wednesday’s editorial cartoon by Jack Ohman calling Colin Powell the “last sensible Republican.” (14A) Wow. I don’t think The Star’s leftist wokeism has ever so flagrantly hit me as stupidly crude.

- David Porter, Kansas City

Hyperpartisan rights?

In the Army-McCarthy Hearings of 1954, lawyer Joseph Welch asked Sen. Joseph McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency, sir?” I ask the same of the Republicans in their party-line vote to not even allow discussion of the Freedom to Vote Act. (Oct. 21, 2A, “Senate GOP again blocks Democrats’ election bill”)

Republican leadership dismissed the act as “hyperpartisanship.” Really? Protecting the right to vote? State laws that restrict voting are the actual blatant display of hyperpartisanship — the desire to maintain power at the cost of representative democracy and the drift toward authoritarianism by the GOP.

We already suffer from distrust in democratic institutions because Republicans refuse to challenge the big lies about so-called “voter fraud” and “stolen elections.” We already suffer from a tyranny of the minority because of how the Senate is composed and the use of the filibuster. Senate Republicans act as obstructors of legislation rather than as partners in enacting legislation to improve the lives of Americans.

As a historian, I fear what the GOP challenges to ideals of democracy, opportunity, equity and justice mean for our republic. President Abraham Lincoln noted that America was an experiment whose values and institutions must be protected and reaffirmed.

- Vicki Arndt Helgesen, Overland Park

Move it up

Major League Baseball has a regular season that is without question like that famous race in Boston: a marathon. “We’ve Only Just Begun” was a hit for the Carpenters, but it’s hardly a hit with baseball fans when playoff competition takes until October to begin.

Early October has ideal playing conditions that might have led Hall of Famer Ernie Banks to say, “What a beautiful day for baseball. Let’s play the World Series.” After all, baseball’s championship series is traditionally known as the Fall Classic.

Instead, MLB is singing a different tune. “Take Me Out to the World Series” when it could be shivering cold with snow flurries is unnatural. Frosty The Snowman wouldn’t mind, but no amount of antifreeze is going to keep fans comfortable or allow players to perform up to their full capabilities.

Those conditions are suitable for football season that is, by the way, half over by the time the World Series starts — but they’re hardly suitable for America’s great pasttime.

World Series play at the end of October and into November is past its time. Bring back the Fall Classic.

- Mike George, Springfield

Creative teaching

I applaud Lincoln College Preparatory Academy teacher Taylor Snider and others of his team for taking a different view of education, as he described in his Thursday guest commentary, “Great things from Lincoln Prep students will dazzle Kansas City.”( 9A)

As a former music teacher and educator of the gifted, I have held a similar view. Clear back in the 1960s, I was exposed to a unique view of modern education. From then until retirement, I endorsed that creative endeavor. English class need not be “just” English. Math need not be “just” math. A teacher need not be “just” a teacher.

I always encouraged my students to seek out learning at every opportunity, no matter the subject. I wanted them to have a thirst for learning. Thus, your final exam is a quest for learning, not a regurgitation of facts.

- Brian Angevine, Lawrence

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