, Gloucester, MA

Letters/My View

June 11, 2013

Letter: Look at facts behind school disputes

To the editor:

The nature of a civil society demands a vigilant citizenry unafraid to ask questions.

Questions recently raised before our public school officials — if schools should have increased security and if schools should serve universal breakfast —deserve consideration and engagement. The stonewalling from the School Committee on the former and the demeaning “satire” from Roger Garberg on the latter have only served to inflame the issues, not solve them.

The Times, however, seems to not only have taken a hostile stance in defense of Ms. Fornero and Ms. Kesterson, but embraced their opinions with little regard for the facts.

The data are rather clear on these issues. Of the tens of thousands of murders in this country, a tiny fraction of those are in schools, despite their over-representation in the media. As a father of two school-age children, I agree that school security should absolutely be an ongoing concern. However, I disagree with an inherently reactionary stance such as armed guards in schools regardless of real threats.

Likewise, the success of the universal breakfast program is shown in the data from participating schools. Ms. Fornero’s concern of reduced instruction time is a common concern cited for opposition to the program. Fortunately, the data shows the fears to be unfounded.

I have personally seen the benefit in nutrition and camaraderie such an arrangement has in my own son’s preschool class. For schools with the majority of children coming from low-income families, among which are both Beeman and Veterans Memorial, this will be a tremendous boost in nutrition alone, with little required from families outside of getting their children to school on time.

As for Ms. Fornero’s concern that her child will be overfed — one that the Times unquestioningly repeated — it was made very clear that while the program is universal, it is not mandatory. She could well continue serving breakfast at home and request her son not have breakfast at school.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters/My View

NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot