2003-02-26 / Editorials

Walk Out Of U.N.

Walk Out Of U.N.

To The Editor:

Anyone who truly understands the reality of the United Nations was hardly shocked when the 53 members of the UN’s Human Rights Commission elected Libya to chair its proceedings.

Long a haven for tyrants, despots, thugs and abusers of human rights, the United Nations merely showed its true colors once again.

Under Moammar al-Qaddafi, Libya rose to prominence as a virtual Soviet satellite decades ago. Compiling a history of attempted subversion of Egypt and other African nations, Qaddafi previously allied himself with the unspeakable General Idi Amin of Uganda and has more recently befriended Zimbabwe’s ruthless Robert Mugabe.

Libya’s secret police and revolutionary committees employ arbitrary arrest and torture to ensure that human rights do not exist for the nations oppressed millions. And Qaddafi’s involvement in international terrorism became indisputable when his regime was found guilty of the 1988 downing of Pan Am [Flight] 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, with the loss of all 270 aboard.

The United States Ambassador to witness this outrage, Kevin Moley, deplored the choice of Libya. But the U.S. will retain membership in both the Human Rights Commission and the UN itself. When Libya’s representative bangs the gavel for the human rights group, our nation’s representative will be seated alongside such exemplary human rights champions as China, Cuba, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and Sudan.

America should walk out from both the human rights panel and the UN itself.

Yours truly,

Janet McCarthy


School Myths And Facts

To The Editor:

I am writing in response to Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg and [Schools] Chancellor [Joel] Klein’s proposal for the implementation of a new instructional and administrative organization to the public schools. As the Assembly representative for School District 26, as a graduate of District 26 and as a parent of a child in a District 26 school, I want to unequivocally state my position on a matter that affects our children, homes and community.

Let there be no doubt that there is no one who cares more about District 26 than I do. Last year I was glad to support the legislation giving the mayor control of our city schools. I especially like the mayor’s commitment to decrease bureaucracy, increase assets to our schoolrooms, reduce class size and impose accountability for the performance of our schools directly on the mayor. The plan as proposed accomplished many of these goals but leaves a great deal of concerns unanswered. Many parents, schools administrators and elected officials are wading through a quagmire of myths and facts about what might happen to the status of District 26. The result has been confusion and paranoia.

When I became the Assembly representative for the 24th Assembly district, I promised to defend and support the parents and students of District 26. I have not wavered in my position. I have had the opportunity to personally discuss the new school structure with Chancellor Klein and he has assured me that quality education, the preservation of our neighborhood schools and the integrity of the curriculum are priorities to be maintained. The high standards of District 26 should be emulated, not dismantled. I emphasized the importance of keeping the District 26 schools as a lure to young families to live in the city. He agrees with me and therefore I am willing to give the mayor and chancellor the opportunity to prove that their plan will keep District 26 schools strong. However, I will keep their feet to the fire and insist that they don’t overstep the intent of the School Governance Law. The boundaries of the New York City school districts are defined by statute. They cannot be altered by any means other than an act of the legislature. The mayor was given the authority to oversee the school and not to redistrict students. If the intent of the law is compromised in a way that hurts our students, I will personally lead a campaign to fight the mayor, either legislatively or in the courts.

I pledge my continuing commitment and dedication to the schools of District 26. I will work with my colleagues to ensure that our schools and students remain the best in not only the city but also the entire state of New York.


Mark Weprin

24th Assembly District

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