Readers Write 1/17

CULTURE

Why stop at changing ‘Huckleberry Finn’?

I was delighted to read that a new edition of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” will replace the “n-word” with the word “slave” to spare the sensibilities of young people.

After all, most of today’s teens have lived pretty sheltered lives. Growing up listening to rap music and exploring the cultural riches of the Internet, most of them have surely never encountered that word. Why upset them?

Perhaps it would be even better if we replaced Huckleberry Finn with Huckleberry Hound cartoons. The name is very similar, and the cartoons are wholesome, funny and inoffensive. Ultimately, it would be best to simply eliminate the study of literature altogether. Literature provokes hard and sometimes unpleasant thinking, challenges deeply-held beliefs, and threatens the status quo. And who needs that?

Studies indicate we are already well on the way to achieving the goal of a literature-free public. The result will be a happier, more docile, more patriotic citizenry, and that is surely something to be cheered — particularly by those kindly elites who have selflessly assumed the burden of governing us.

James W. Harris, Rydal

EDUCATION

Make school children’s parents accountable

Regarding “We should bring back corporal punishment” (“Readers write,” Jan. 12), I had to shake my head.

Haven’t recent events shown us that there is too much violence in our society? Whether you agree or not, spanking is a violent act.

As a teacher, I fully understand this writer’s frustration. However, if we begin making the lives of the parents of these children uncomfortable and less convenient, we will see the children’s behavior change. Banning a child from using the school bus for repeated bullying or poor behavior would inconvenience the parents. And until they are inconvenienced, and impacted by their child’s behavior, they will allow the school to continue with clearly ineffective practices. I feel that we have to send a strong message to the parents of students who are a repeated disruption: you, too will be held accountable, and will be expected to help us educate your child. The schools and your child’s teacher cannot do it alone.

Laurie Ann Lawrence, McDonough

POLITICS

Limit all elected officials to single term in office

I have decided that our country is suffering primarily because those who are supposed to represent us are representing themselves. They “work” to get re-elected. Any benefits that accrue to voters are incidental.

Instead of term limits which don’t work, we need a constitutional amendment that limits all elected officials to one term. Until that happy, one-term day arrives, we voters should just refuse to re-elect anybody. I think in time, we will get quality candidates because the blowhards of all political parties will see no profit in raising millions of dollars to serve only one term, with no benefits after leaving office, including those now given to the president.

I’ve made a bumper sticker that says, “Re-elect nobody.” If you want to join me, the stickers can be made cheaply and easily. Harris Green, Jasper