2016-01-27 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Heroic School Staff To The Editor:

The shocking story (January 13) of two children in Queens who were allegedly assaulted and enslaved by their adoptive mother reveals not only her depth of depravity (habitual savageries such as kicking kids in the head and forcing them to sleep on the bare floor) but also the sublime virtue of educators who frequently do their finest work outside the walls of the classroom.

“Going the extra mile” to protect kids is imprinted in their psyches, as this narrative proves.

The accused adoptive mother has not yet been convicted. Her case is pending and in our system a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. But the district attorney’s statement and the potential evidence sound damning.

Still there is one absolute certainty: the bold action of an assistant principal at the children’s school who intervened to save the children qualifies as heroism. From the newspaper accounts, this administrator seems to have transcended her job description and equated it with “call of duty.”

Staffers at the school had seen suspicious bruises on the girl. Instead of assuming it was attributable to a playground incident, karate, lacrosse or some other cause, they promptly reported their concerns to the school administration which then contacted the police.

Of her own initiative,an assistant principal went to the children’s home, confronted the alleged abuser and recovered money and vital documents belonging to the children. That AP probably was taking a risk. She couldn’t know what reception she’d get from the adoptive mother. Neither could she be secure in the expectation that the Department of Education would back her.

It is entirely possible that she could have gotten into trouble for acting in the capacity of a law-enforcement officer, although obviously she wasn’t impersonating one. The DOE can sometimes be quite arbitrary. As their employee, one learns quickly to dot one’s “i’s” and cross one’s “t’s”. And not to take liberties, even if driven by decency under a cloud of career-sacrifice.

The DOE should honor this wise and gutsy assistant principal.

And if the facts as related in the news stories pan out, then the school staffers who made the original observation should be commended and the assistant principal be awarded the “Keys to the City” by the

Mayor.
Ron Isaac
Fresh Meadows

Navy Boats In Peril

To The Editor:

As a former Navy enlisted man and officer, I am disappointed with the capture of our two riverine boats and crews by the Iranians in the Persian Gulf.

I understand one of the boats had a navigation problem, either mechanical or human error, and it wandered into Iranian waters. But why couldn’t the other boat tow it away from Iranian waters?

Furthermore, why wasn’t a warship accompanying the two small boats as they traversed waters in close proximity to an unfriendly country?

Why didn’t the riverine boats communicate their problems to their commanding officer, who should have been monitoring their transit from Kuwait to Bahrain? If they did communicate their situation, what were the instructions they received from higher command?

It appears to me the personnel on the riverine boats and the command hierarchy viewed the movement of the boats as a routine operation, and they were caught off guard by the problems encountered, and they were not prepared to conduct contingency operations. It reminds me of the capture of the USS Pueblo off of North Korea many years ago.

This incident could embolden the Iranians and other unfriendly countries to test our military prowess.

Donald Moskowitz
Former AG2 and Lt., US Navy
Londonderry, NH

Catholic Schools Week

To The Editor:

Catholic School Week starts on the last Sunday in January and runs all week, from January 31 to February 6. The theme for National School week is, “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” I have a suggestion for parents to think seriously about, and that is giving their children a Catholic education. I, for one, would like to praise Catholic schools for their ongoing contribution to education and for their role in ensuring a brighter, stronger future for the nation. These fine schools produce students strongly dedicated to their faith, families and communities, and provide an intellectually stimulating environment, rich in spirituality, character and moral development. The teachers in Catholic schools are dedicated to every child and try to bring out in them their hidden talents, to make them the very best they can be. You see, these children are leaders of tomorrow and need what these Catholic schools provide. I hope all interested parents get in touch with their parish or the Catholic school in their area and take the first step in improving their children’s future. Let me point out that as Grand Knight of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus Council no. 5911, I have seen what these children can do. My council has provided to St. Anastasia school and later Divine Wisdom Academy in Douglaston an essay contest called “Responsibility of a Catholic Citizen in a Free Society.” These students turn in quite impressive essays and we wished we could have given them all awards. The education they received helped them to excel and helped them to be the best they could be. So please consider a Catholic education for your children.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Clinton Struggling

To The Editor:

Poor Hillary. Since she really believes that the presidency should be hers for the asking, she must find it shocking to see her poll numbers continue to decline as we approach the primaries. Not only has her husband Bill been out campaigning for her, now I hear that she will try to raise her standing in the polls by also having her pregnant daughter Chelsea out there campaigning for her as well.

Charles M. Barthold
Jackson Heights

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