Readers write: Sept. 28

Dunwoody schools won’t resegregate

A guest columnist’s attempt to turn the local school system movement into a civil rights issue is off-base (“Change would produce segregated systems,” Opinion, Sept. 21). Two fundamental flaws undermine the argument. First, the “white flight” of the 1960s the writer describes is a thing of the past. Cities like Dunwoody are now culturally and racially diverse. To make the case, the op-ed uses out-of-date statistics compiled before the most recent census. Dunwoody schools today are 17 percent black, 17 percent Hispanic, 12 percent Asian, 51 percent white non-Hispanic, and 3 percent multiracial. This is much more diverse than the DeKalb County system as a whole.

Second, since the boundaries of the city of Dunwoody and the Dunwoody High School attendance area are almost exactly identical, creating a Dunwoody city school system won’t change who sits next to whom in the classroom. What will change is who is running the system and making the decisions. This is about more local control and creating systems with more accountability. It is about trying to improve educational outcomes by dismantling large, dysfunctional bureaucracies.

ROBERT WITTENSTEIN, DUNWOODY

No justification for federal shutdown

Americans did not elect representatives to Congress to shut down our government. We trust them to work for the people by finding effective responses to the nation’s challenges. Threats to shut down the government are a betrayal of that trust and abuse of office that cannot be justified by claiming noble values. If you believe using fetal tissue for research is wrong, remember who made it legal along with freezing embryos. So discuss, debate and vote on those issues, but don’t shut down our government. That’s not your job.

TONY GARDNER, CUMMING

Photo conflicts with streetcar assertion

Wednesday’s AJC carried a front-page article on the security breach and vandalism of Atlanta’s streetcars (“Vandals expose security gap,” News, Sept. 23). Confronted with this incident and a recent audit citing a lack of leadership and numerous noncompliance issues, Mayor Reed’s senior advisor, Melissa Mullinax, nonetheless stated, “I’m confident that we have the right systems in place and that we have the right people in place right now.” Maybe so for the vehicles themselves. What about the personnel? Pictured with the article was a streetcar employee cleaning up graffiti without benefit of OSHA-required safety goggles and head covering. I think there is a serious problem when the city gives priority to the safety and security of its streetcars over that of its employees.

BETSY V. SWAIN, EAST ATLANTA