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  • Dr. Greenthumb
  • San Diego

Budget Realities

Re “School Fees Are Illegal” (“City Lights,” March 18).

In a perfect world we would offer everything for free, but with the public school budget crisis going on in California, let’s be realistic! If we want our kids to go to school every day, do their schoolwork, and offer nothing else, we could do it free of charge to the students and families. But we would have unhappy, unfulfilled, and bored kids that would go out and get into trouble after school because there were no artistic, educational, and athletic outlets offered at school.

As a parent of a high school football player and 4.0 student, would I love to not have to write a check for $175 to play football? Of course, but it is just not realistic. My son would be playing in tattered uniforms and unsafe equipment. I am not willing to sacrifice my child’s well-being just to save some money.

At Mission Bay High School if a child is unable to pay, they are not forced to pay. The majority of our students are bused in and on free or reduced lunches. Many families pay their fees throughout the year so their kids can play because it is important to them. Until the budgets handed down from Sacramento increase, we will just have to accept the fact that if our kids want to participate in sports activities or activities other than education, we as parents will have to chip in, and we should do it happily and generously.

I think Sally Smith should put her energy into something more positive, like raising money or writing grants for schools to offset the costs for these activities. She is finally forced to quit bullying the Serra families and teachers; now she is moving on to wreak havoc at other schools. Stay away, you are not welcome, Sally Smith!

  • Cori Meara
  • via email

Gregg, Indeed

The “Brainstorms” puzzle in the March 4 Reader was indeed Gregg shorthand (Letters, March 11). In 1966, I took a one-semester course in the Diamond Jubilee version of Gregg shorthand. Every character of the puzzle was immediately readable by that system, with no puzzling ability required.

  • Betsy Cory
  • Chula Vista

Culture Crash

This so-called story was horrible (“Filipino Rules,” Cover Story, March 4)! It was more of a complaint letter than a story about the Filipino culture. Sure, the writer touched on certain scenarios and values that are typical of our Filipino culture, but most of the things mentioned aren’t just exclusive to Filipinos. The writer needs to learn how to think outside of the box and think about how other readers who are not familiar with our culture would interpret her writing. It would be great if someone would produce a quality article about our culture, because this one just set us back so much. Horrible!

  • Mary Ann
  • via email

Why Feature Flaws?

I think the article “Filipino Rules” (Cover Story, March 4) is harmful to the Filipino community and shouldn’t have been published in isolation. Although the stereotypes mentioned in the article are not “that bad,” I think other articles showing other aspects of the Filipino culture should also be presented periodically in the Reader to give the audience a better understanding of that culture.

Some people have commented that the author was just sharing her experiences, but why call it “Filipino Rules”? From that title, I (and I’m sure many others as well) interpreted that having strict Filipino parents was a problem. My strict Filipino parents are the main reason for my success today, so I think it’s unfair to give such a one-sided view. If it was just truly about the author’s experiences, why not call it “Girl with Strict Parents” instead of calling attention to her ethnicity.

I understand that not all articles about a particular ethnicity will be positive. In fact, I strongly support articles regarding topics that are not pleasing to hear (pollution in the Philippines, human trafficking) if they are meant to help that community. However, are the flaws of strict Filipino parenting really a problem that needs to be addressed on the front page of the Reader? Also, if the point of the article was to show the flaws in strict Filipino parenting, was there a reason to include the other negative stereotypes (driving crazy, wannabe gangsters)? Because of this, I feel that the article was included simply to make fun of Filipinos and that other articles showing Filipinos in a positive light should be included.

  • Jordan
  • via email

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SDaniels March 30, 2010 @ 1:40 a.m.

To Jordan and all who commented on "Filipino Rules"(Cover Story, March 4):

Jordan's are pretty fair last words for this piece, as they stated what everyone may have considered, but only a few communicated: The piece would have best been published as part of a pastiche of experiences of Filipino culture, perhaps as the one demonstrating a single young woman's struggles growing up and attempting to articulate herself as bicultural. From the comments, one must conclude that in a case like this one, because so few views of Fil-Am life are readily available in our local print culture, acknowledgement of a larger social responsibility should trump any argument about artistic license. It is difficult for me to say this, and only in such a case would I: in the final analysis, it was irresponsible to allow this piece to stand alone. In the interests of fairness, I would urge the editors to consider in future: when publishing a perspective of an underrepresented culture that might be taken as largely negative or slanderous by the majority of its readers of the community in question, do so only as part of a panel or series of multiple perspectives--of more diverse opinion. In this way, the larger community may benefit from a more balanced choice of views of a subsection of its neighbors, who may in turn feel better represented and understood where they live and work--that is, by the larger community of San Diegans to which we all belong.


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