Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 16, 2014 5:00 AM

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Getting better on sexual misconduct

With the recent expulsion of a student from the UI for sexual assault and the increasing number of sexual-misconduct reports on campus, it is important members of the university community remember things are getting better, not worse. From RAINN, 60 percent of sexual assaults are not reported. Having an increase in numbers is not always a bad thing. Instead, it shows students on campus are becoming more comfortable with reporting than generations past. Just because one college records a smaller number of sexual assaults does not mean its campus is safer. In fact, it could instead show the culture on that particular campus is so entrenched in victim-blaming few are willing to come forward. Though we still have a long way to go, it is important to not forget the positive strides we have taken.

Elise Froh

Re: District adjusts to language cuts

It’s really awesome Mrs. Schafer has been able to immerse her children in language instruction since kindergarten and is not worried about the language cuts to our district affecting her daughter’s competitive chances for entering college later on.

It’s great she is not worried about not having the after-school option for her daughter because she will be so busy with athletics, but there are many underprivileged kids in the district who will suffer long-term because of these cuts. Not every child in our district has the means or opportunity to have language immersion study outside of public education. Not every child is inclined toward athletics, and those kids are better served by having a diverse education experience.

I think we need to acknowledge that when certain cuts in public education do not really affect you or your child long-term that it’s really in your own best interest and not the interest of students of all backgrounds to play down the severity of such cuts.

Jennifer Babcock

Re: Why cutting foreign language in schools is a mistake

Lilly Brown says that “German is beneficial [because] it helps students learn proper English grammar …”

I learned English grammar in ninth-grade English class. When my bilingual son attended City High, I was informed by his English teacher that they don’t teach grammar anymore. My son’s German teacher explained that he had to teach the students grammar before they could grasp German. I agree with Lilly that “these changes in our foreign-language programs are not acceptable,” but I also believe that learning a foreign language could be more effective if our children learned the structure of their native language along the way. I am not current on trends in the philosophy of education, but the curriculum changes in the Iowa City School District seem misguided to me.

Marilyn Swanson

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