Surgenor Gets a Spanking

Letters published September 28-October 4, 2000

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Striking a blow for nonviolent reprimands: While fear and anger are powerful emotions, they do not absolve parents of culpability when they hit their child. While the "brainwashed" parents Mr. Surgenor discusses in his interview ["One-Man Swat Team," by Laura Putre, September 21] may have to spend time actually thinking about and talking with their children, at least their children don't flinch in anticipation of pain when they reach out for an embrace.

I do want to thank Ms. Putre and Mr. Surgenor for their role in my medical education. After reading this article, I will be that much more vigilant in asking about child abuse, now that Mr. Surgenor has taught untold numbers of parents/abusers how to hit without "leaving a mark."

Jason Liebzeit
Cleveland Heights

Turn to page 117 for more innocence-stripping perversion: I read something in your publication that nearly knocked me over. It is a new column you have added called Savage Love, and it is totally disgusting pornography that doesn't belong in a publication that is left in grocery stores, comic book outlets, drugstores, and street corners for anyone, including children, to get hold of. I would imagine many of your advertisers would not be very happy to see what their money is going to print. You have been slowly escalating the sexual content of your publication, but this is beyond acceptable. Stories like these should be behind the counter and for adults only. Free speech is one thing, but pandering obscenities is another story. If you wish to turn Scene into an alternative lifestyle piece of trash, then please stop putting it where children can get their hands on it and have that much more of their innocence stripped away and minds warped by perversion.

Tom Tvrdik
Parma Heights

Resnick's role in building better readers: Erick Trickey's article 'Supreme Politics' [News, September 14] accurately summarizes the differences between incumbent Supreme Court Justice Alice Robie Resnick and her opponent, Terence O'Donnell. Resnick has taken the lead in forcing the Ohio General Assembly to provide a constitutional "thorough and efficient system of public education." O'Donnell would retreat from that role and allow the anti-urban public education legislative majority to determine whether all Ohio children received a decent education.

What Trickey fails to mention is how much the additional but still inadequate funding has meant to teachers and students. In 1997 the 4-3 Supreme Court majority supported the lower court's ruling that the present system of public education was unconstitutional. The General Assembly increased school funding and passed a series of educational accountability measures known as Senate Bill 55.

In the case of Cleveland, the increased school funding supported an extra reading teacher in elementary schools, and fourth-grade reading scores skyrocketed from a 25 percent passing rate to almost 40 percent passing rate. Yet Senate Bill 55 will require fourth-grade students to read at grade level by 2002 in order to be promoted to fifth grade.

Resnick wrote the 4-3 majority opinion declaring the 1997 legislative response short of what the Ohio Constitution requires. Resnick ordered the legislature to immediately fully fund Senate Bill 55 and the Fourth-Grade Reading Guarantee.

Without the reelection of Judge Resnick, the General Assembly will continue to partially fund public schools, but continue to demand equity of results. Whether the majority of children have the qualified teachers and smaller classes needed for them to become independent readers will in no small measure be determined by the Supreme Court election in November.

Michael Charney
Professional Issues Director of the Cleveland Teachers Union

The readers have spoken: Less talk, more rock! Do you remember back before that big mega-huge corporate-America shithead outfit came in and bought Scene? I DO. Scene used to rock, it used to roll, it used to be the 'zine. Not anymore. Scene today looks a lot more like a very cheap sex rag that tailors mostly to gays. Is that what it is now? It used to be about music. At least a lot more about music. That's when there was a weekly little section called Makin' the Scene. In that section, all of us local (irrelevant) musicians could keep an eye out for info on other happening local bands. But no more. I just wanted to say thanks -- and, of course, that is extreme sarcasm. I wish the assholes who bought and ruined a great Cleveland arts publication would just die.


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