9/13 Readers write

Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

Literary classics deserve space in school libraries

That a book lacks “student interest” seems a sorry justification for culling one of the seminal “classic” novels of this country from the library of Lassiter High School! Such 19th century novels as Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” cannot be intelligently displaced by “more current selections” without a school acknowledging the failure of its responsibility to engage students with their literary history and its fundamental artistry.

The primary obligation of teachers is to stimulate students and to encourage them to enlarge their “interests,” to help them to grow and to evolve — not to allow their limited experience to define their choices.

However, even if this slim novel sits untouched on the shelf it occupies, it belongs there. It takes up unfathomably less space than the significant place it holds in American literature.


Voting is a privilege and an obligation

I am incensed at a recent reader letter encouraging Republicans, much less any Americans, to “stay home again” and not vote. I spent almost 22 years in an Army uniform to protect our country and, specifically, our special freedom and privilege to vote. This is a human rights tool that most of the people of the world do not have to this day – the ability to freely and without coercion vote their individual conscience. And to suggest that people blow off that special privilege is simply wrong.

I suggest that the author put on a uniform and then, separately, volunteer as a poll worker and manager for eight years as I did, to specifically make sure that our voting process is being executed by the book and the law, at least at the precinct level where I served. His suggestion flies directly in the face of all the massive turn-out-the-vote efforts for all the people in America, even those with whom I might disagree.

For the sake of our country, show up or shut up. You have a duty and an obligation. Voting is the great equalizer.