Readers Write 4/3

In the mid-1970s, Adrienne Rich taught at a writing retreat at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. On a beautiful spring day, a crowd of women, a few men and one of the best poets of our time gathered on the patio. The request came for this to be a women-only workshop. The men demanded to be part of the session. Mind you, this was early in the women’s movement. I was quite uneasy with the question and ensuing debate.

We voted. The majority opted for women-only. Adrienne politely advised the men that if they insisted on staying, she would cancel the workshop. The men left.

My career as a poet ended shortly after that session. Poetry lessons are long forgotten. About 40 years later, I remember fondly that first experience of the power of positive leadership.

Janet Rechtman, Decatur

Two years doesn’t determine a trend

In Ty Tagami’s and Kelly Gucklan’s article on metro Atlanta’s teachers, I’m surprised that they omitted information such as student absenteeism, rates of absence compared to teacher tenure, etc. (“Teacher absences cost you millions,” News, March 29).

Teachers are at risk for every virus from every family sending their kids to school, and the first year or two at a school, they are most susceptible. Also — a true trend can’t be determined from two years of data, as there may simply have been more illness going around, or even more pollen in the air during that time period.

Susan Belk, Marietta

Young man didn’t deserve to be shot

Trayvon Martin is unable to defend himself in the courts and the court of public opinion. Let’s keep the focus where it belongs: on the fact that an unarmed child was killed for walking in his family’s neighborhood. Enough of the character assassination of this young man. He did not deserve to be shot for walking home with candy and tea.

Nethea Rhinehardt, Atlanta

Amendment would do a lot for our democracy

Congress should pass a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College, and have presidents elected with 50 percent of the popular vote. The amendment must include a clause to limit presidents to a single six-year term. The amendment would solidify the foundation of American democracy. The paralysis between the legislative and executive branches would decline. Presidents would appoint balanced advisers instead of team players who would provide partisan advice. Presidents would concentrate on our domestic and foreign problems instead of running for re-election during first terms. Senators and representatives would feel the snowball effect of the reform and pass a term-limits amendment for members of Congress.

Roy Wetherington, Tifton

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