Another Littleton waiting to explode?
BY KELLY MILNER HALLS
What should not be lost in Milner Halls' article or the Littleton tragedy is one simple fact: Our schools are simply not prepared to deal with the myriad of troubles today's students
face. From family crisis to social ills, health care to sexual abuse,
we live in an age where we are asking our schools to perform tasks that
they are not trained for and for which they are surely underfunded.
The next time a tax increase earmarked for the schools rears its ugly head in your community, ask yourself if you really need a bigger, brighter, higher-tech school -- or whether you need trained professionals that can give today's kids the non-academic support they need. Do we need more athletic facilities, or do we need improved outreach and social services in the one place we have children as a captive audience?
-- Christopher Pupilo
Kerry Milner Halls says she's upset with the counselors at her daughter's former high school in Longmont, Colo. Why? Because the
counselors notified police that a troubled boy from a
violent home, who soon would come into possession of a firearm, had
threatened to rape and murder her daughter.
Halls says she wishes they would have just called the kid's therapist
instead. This is a Mother Who Thinks?
By the way ... Longmont is too right-wing for Halls. So where does she move?
Spokane, Wash. -- long the most conservative city in the
Northwest, and these days a hotbed of white supremacist militia activity.
If Longmont makes Spokane seem like a paradise of tolerance, it must be
one damn scary place.
-- Mark Carlson
If only the closed-minded 1950s throwbacks in Littleton had listened,
Kelly Milner Halls seems to say in her article, the killers would have
hugged their friends and wandered off to join the glee club. She never
mentions the real victims, the kids that the two sociopaths gleefully
stalked and murdered. But then, the slain students were members of the evil,
uptight, religious community whose quaint values are obviously to blame.
A victim is a victim and a killer is a killer; Salon's eagerness to find an
ideologically correct reason for the massacre is tragic and distasteful.
Someone seems to have forgotten that high school harassment and childhood
persecution know no ideology; neither do bullets.
-- Jeff Eaton
Halls' article expresses what I have been wanting to scream from the rooftops since the
Littleton massacre. I was a sick kid. My parents sank into alcoholism
when I was in early adolescence, and I spent almost two years dressing in
dirty clothes, bathing infrequently, skipping school as much as possible so that I wouldn't
have to be seen and failing classes (despite standardized test scores above
the 95th percentile). I all but spray-painted "really sick kid" on
my forehead, and no one noticed. I was threatened with failure,
expulsion or legal action, but no one asked what was
wrong. How is it that children can self-destruct in the full view of their
schools and community, and no one asks why? I am positive those
kids were broadcasting distress signals long before they became monsters.
-- Erin McGinty
Something in the way he moves
BY CHARLES TAYLOR
At first, I thought that the Keanu Reeves articles was a joke. Once I
started reading on all I could do was chuckle. But still my laughter
wasn't as loud as that of the audience in the theater where I saw "The
Matrix." Every still shot of the blank face, fake Kung Fu scene and shot of
him going "Whoa!" sent the theater into hysterics. Everyone there knew that just because someone's good-looking doesn't mean he's a good actor. And it doesn't mean you're
homophobic if you don't like Keanu Reeves. It means you have good taste.
-- Brian Hunt
Please thank Charles Taylor for being the first published
movie critic to write about Keanu Reeves as if he has actually
been watching him act. Most of the published media critics talk
about Keanu as if they have willfully ignored what he is doing
in a scene. For those of us who know Keanu's roles intimately, have loved
and admired him for years, have tried to fight the vitriolic attacks against
him by people who are terrified that they will be "infected" by his
androgynous beauty and have supported his acting, and musical
performances, Taylor's article was like a breath of fresh air.
It breaks our hearts to read and see the horrible, nasty attacks on
Keanu in the Hollywood media.
-- Barbara Lifton
Sauce biarnaise syndrome
BY SUSAN McCARTHY
Susan McCarthy's piece helped explain one of my more puzzling law school
experiences. Pregnant, I suffered through a class in administrative law
during the afternoons of my first trimester, queasy every single
lecture. To this day (my daughter is now 3) whenever I come across the
words "arbitrary and capricious" or "administrative rule-making" during
the course of doing legal research, I get nauseous again.
-- Liza Weiman Hanks