Letter about Latino children overgeneralizes issues of community, education
Ryan Summerlin October 3, 2002
I am writing in response to Billy Cliffe’s letter in the Oct. 1 edition. I can understand any citizen’s concern at discovering children are not attending school, although this occurs in American, caucasian families as well.
I cannot understand Mr. Cliffe’s ignorant leap to the conclusion that having Latinos in our community leads to the “education base in this community going down the tubes.”
I think if Mr. Cliffe attempted to have a genuine conversation with some of his other Latino neighbors, he would find, in general, that Latino parents care just as deeply about their children’s educations as other members of our community. There are always exceptions, and these hold true for American parents as well.
It is impressive Mr. Cliffe took the time to write to the paper, but I wonder if he made any attempt to report this educational neglect to Child Protective Services?
His description of our child protection workers as having “too much work, not enough time” is contrary to my experience with this agency. I, unfortunately, have been in the position of having to make numerous child abuse reports and have encountered caring and hard-working professionals.
I am afraid to ask what Mr. Cliffe meant by a “tighter sense of community.” If he means a completely homogeneous society, lacking diversity and the richness other cultures bring to Summit County, I hope his wish is not realized. I would like to remind Mr. Cliffe that, unless he is Native American, his family emigrated from somewhere else, too. It is the nature of the “melting pot.”
I am always surprised at the number of people who, now that they are citizens, would like to keep everyone else out. I, for one, am grateful my ancestors were able to come to this wonderful country.
Finally, there are numerous ways to be “proactive” to the benefit of our educational system. If Mr. Cliffe truly is concerned about education in our community, I suggest he call one of the local schools to find out about volunteer opportunities.