California Educator

January / February 2017

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feedback Y O U R O P I N I O N S A R E W E L C O M E ! We accept email and letters (250-word limit); we excerpt user posts from CTA social media platforms. Content subject to editing for clarity and space. Photos must have identifications and permissions.; #WeAreCTA STEAMed Up I had to look carefully at the cover of this month's Educator. I saw the letters STEM and was surprised. Haven't you heard of STEAM? Sci- ence, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. I thought we all had moved on to this improved, corrected, much better educational approach. California needs to educate all of its students with arts included, K through 14. Without arts in the public school curriculum, we are creating incomplete humans. Unconscionable! Please, CTA, get with the program! FRED TEMPAS California Faculty Association, Humboldt State University Editor's Note: The "STEM Stars" stories in the November/December issue reflect the current STEM focus at the California Department of Education. Mr. Tempas is correct; the arts are an essential part of a well-rounded education. Respect for Different Views Diversity has disappeared in the Cal- ifornia Educator. Several articles in the November/December issue declare a bla- tant disregard for many differing opinions. The ar ticle "Stand Up for Stu- dent s " promulgate s the idea that student s cannot func tion because their candidate wasn' t cho sen. What a horrible and untrue me s sage for educators to send. The idea of "safe space s " encourage s weakne s s , crippling student s ' abilit y to accept re jec tion, re spec t a di ffering view, and become a well-rounded and stronger critical thinker. There are literally hundreds of thou- sands of people who were emotionally and mentally distraught these past eight years under Obama's adminis- tration, the voices of conservatives trampled upon, forgotten, bullied. Where were the safe spaces then? Nonexistent. Why? Because of this so-called voice that pushes a very biased opinion instead of acknowledg- ing the multiplicity of perspectives. The idea of safe spaces caters to a single perspective, which is hugely inaccurate and harmful to the true rep- resentation of where all educators and students stand. We are not of the same mind. We are different. And we need to celebrate those differences. In his President's Message, Eric Heins claims: "Many [students] are worried, and some of them, either immigrants themselves or from immigrant families, are legitimately frightened." He fails to stress the word "illegal." This is not about immigration. Donald Trump's wife Melania was born outside of the United States. Most of us did immigrate, and we did it lawfully. This is about breaking the law. What the Educator is failing to remember is that our job as educators is to prepare students to be critical thinkers, to think for themselves and to be ready for the future, to learn how to deal with rejection, to stand strong even when things, like the election, don't go their way. In these past eight years, I personally heard from numerous students about financial stress due to Obamacare, being forced to give a good chunk of their paycheck to this health care, causing a major financial burden to them and their families. No resolution was set forth. No "fractured" society was declared. The reality is that no president is responsible for your well-being. You are. If you want to stand up for what is right and fair, then all voices need to be heard, even those you don't agree with. KRISTA WAGNER Riverside Community College District Faculty Association For the Record In our coverage of a video produced by California Casualty and SoulPancake (November/December, page 13), we were mistaken in not listing one of the educators as a CTA mem- ber. LOVELL DE VON SMITH has been "a proud CTA member of over 13 years." Smith was also a 2012 recipient of CTA's Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship. View the video at 3 January / February 2017

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