A flawed process
Last month Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools released a report recommending the phasing out of the highly regarded Mandarin dual language program. As a parent with 10 years invested in the program, I was shocked, offended and disappointed by the way the district crafted the report.
Please note that not a single Chinese American, Chinese national or Chinese speaker (or Asian, for that matter) was part of the 11-member administrative team responsible for recommending the elimination of the program. I cant imagine making significant recommendations about an issue that directly impacts the education of any other minority group in the district and not including that particular group in the conversation. As a consequence, the report is riddled with careless cultural stereotypes and assumptions about the families in the Chinese program.
I am embarrassed and disappointed in the school district and those on the committee who did not raise their voice in protest. I feel strongly that this flawed process sets a bad precedent for our school district and for our students. For a district that prides itself on multicultural awareness and equity in education, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools gets and F on their March 26 report, CHCCS Dual Language Report and Recommendations (bit.ly/ImWMP2
).Janet Walters Buedel Chapel Hill An emotional pull
I had no idea what I was about to read when I started Connie Campanaros column (CHN, April 15, bit.ly/I6HoIJ
) but felt an emotional pull to contact her hours later. She beautifully shared what it feels like to lose a very young life.
I experienced the most overwhelming sadness and tragedy the night of my 5-year-old daughters birth. I had an undiagnosed condition, called vasa previa, that endangered her life as she was being born. The first days were particularly frightening but she miraculously survived after many fragile days in the intensive care unit.
It is difficult to put into words the emotions surrounding such heartbreak even though she surpassed the odds. A column such as this reaches out to those who have shared this pain. Every August on my daughters birthday, we sponsor a blood drive. She is alive today because of the several units of blood she received and we are thankful for the American Red Cross and its donors. It is therapeutic to come through heartbreak and be able to help someone else in need. Julianna Rhodes DurhamA secret club
I applaud Connie Campanaro for writing about her loss in such a poignant, but hopeful manner (CHN, April 15, http://bit.ly/I6HoIJ
). Her perspective was so unique, at least to me. I suffered through two miscarriages many years ago and I never was made aware of any grief either set of grandparents experienced. I think knowing of their shared grief could have really helped my husband and me.
Ms. Campanaro has written about a secret club no one wants to join"; the loss of an unborn child. It doesnt matter when you lose that child
at 1 month or at 9 months, the loss is still great and life changing. Her writing is from the gut, but filled with realistic hope. I concur with her faith perspective and know that God rescued me from the depression that follows this kind of loss one that people tend to dismiss as "Well, God must have had a reason," as if that should make the hole in your heart go away.
She ended with a beautiful story of how she celebrated the life of her granddaughter by donating one year old clothes to a child in need. I only wish I had thought about doing that. I think it could have helped a great deal. Anne Paulson DurhamHeartfelt thanks
I am sending you my heartfelt thanks for the article Connie Campanaro wrote about her grief journey after the death of her baby granddaughter (CHN, April 15, http://bit.ly/I6HoIJ
I too lost my first grandchild, a baby girl, who was stillborn to my daughter last April 4, 2011. It is a terrible loss for a grandmother, one that is often overlooked in the compassionate but often exclusive support of the young parents whose child has died. They have their support networks, their support groups, books and grief counselors; it is rare for the grandparents to find such support.
Statistics are that one of every 150 pregnancies will end in stillbirth (that doesnt even include miscarriages and neonatal deaths). For every child who dies, there are potentially four grandparents who not only grieve the loss of this precious life but also must stand on the sidelines and helplessly watch their sons and daughters go through the walking nightmare that will haunt them. When I lost my granddaughter, I also lost my daughter, for though she will recover she will never be again the joyful carefree young woman that she was.
My friend, Bill Meyer of the Duke University Medical School Faculty, forwarded me the link to the article on Friday morning, knowing that only two days before I had faced the first year anniversary of the loss of Charlotte Grace, my grandchild. As I thanked him for doing so, I also want to thank you for sending the message that you and your organization also support grieving grandparents.Karen King Postpartum Doula Triangle Mothercare, Inc.A blurry line
On April 17, we were threatened with arrest while sitting in the Pit, a common gathering area at the heart of UNC-Chapel Hills campus. Why? Because we were sitting next to a tent, which violates university policy. As Department of Public Safety spokesman Randy Young commented in the Daily Tar Heel, the policy states no temporary or permanent structures may be erected on campus.
The law enforcement office that issued such a threat advised the group to consider other forms of visibility, including drawing a picture of a tent on a sign and holding it up in the air. Exception being from the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., during which only official university student organizations may apply to be permitted to use the space.
We were told that if we did not take down the tents ourselves, we would be arrested before they were broken down, removed and potentially confiscated by the authorities. Just as the Occupy movement both locally and nationally, Carrboro Commune, the Yates Motor building occupation and use issues surrounding Peace and Justice Plaza in Chapel Hill raised the discourse of private vs public space, the April 17 events walk a blurry line. While I am grateful that I was not arrested and do not have to deal with court fees, etc. I walked away from the Pit for my 2 p.m. class with my tail between my legs. I took my tent down because I was told to do it because it broke some living document of rules one that, for the record, bans shanties. I have a feeling that part was written during apartheid.
Our original intention was to raise awareness about the Alternative Commencement Ceremony May 13 at 9:30 am in the Forest Theatre. This event will be for university students and their families, as well as faculty, staff, and community members who do not support honoring New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at commencement. More information can be found at alternativeunc.com
. Alanna Davis Kari Dahlgren UNC Alternative Commencement Task Force
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