Just about every night I hear on the news about Cleveland's schools. The schools are falling apart. They need more money. On and on and on. Why? Tell me why? So the kids can destroy their new textbooks and computers? Do they even know how to turn one on?
Am I bashing the Cleveland schools? I sure am. Am I going to slam the parents of these kids? You bet. I applaud, respect, and honor Mark Dreyer for everything he has done as a teacher. The parents who condemned and cried about the way their children were treated need their heads smacked together too.
What shocked me most was to learn that these kids were in grades K-8. What is going to happen when they get to high school? I won't mention college, because they won't make it that far.
I believe that a child's behavior is learned in the home environment. Did that little kindergartner tell his mother, "Fuck you, bitch!" when she told him to clean his room? Did he even have to clean his room? Were there any rules in his home? Where in the world did he ever hear, "I got people that can take care of large women!"? I'm sure he wasn't talking about Richard Simmons. This is learned behavior.
Don't hand me the excuse about single-parent families. Don't cry poverty either. Parents need to get tough. If these parents had been reasonable and gone to the school in a mature adult fashion and asked to speak with Mr. Dreyer about their children, these problems could have been handled successfully. It's OK to give your child the benefit of the doubt, but speaking as a parent, I say you should only half-believe what your child tells you. There is always -- and I mean always -- a good reason for a teacher to discipline your child. If these parents had listened to Mr. Dreyer, they would have understood why he had to do what he did. If parents don't listen, how can you expect their children to?
Mr. Dreyer knew that he wanted to be a teacher since he was about six years old. How could he have known that? Mr. Dreyer had excellent role models -- his mother and his father. I know that Mr. Dreyer's children will do well in life, because Mr. Dreyer is an excellent role model.
My husband and I applaud you, Mr. Dreyer, for all that you tried to do for those students.
Gutted for God
SB 17 oughtta get the Church's blessing: I totally agree with Marc Dann, who considers this new Ohio Sex Offender Registry a "sham" [First Punch, September 13]. I was not at all surprised to read this line in your article: "Punch tried to get a better read on the legislature's thinking, but when we called committee members who framed the rules, no one remembered the meeting."
Well, I can help to refresh their memories. You see, I was also in Columbus on that day, when our legislators passed a totally gutted Senate Bill 17 that protects only the Catholic hierarchy and not our children. I listened to Senator Dann as he stood in front of his peers and very loudly said to them: "You have no guts!"
He pleaded with those legislators to come back into the room to face the victims and to tell them they don't deserve their day in court. He pleaded with them not to pass Senate Bill 17, which Jon Husted and the House had completely gutted. This bill eliminates the one-year look-back window so that victims could let the courts decide their fate, the church hierarchy would have to expose its cover-ups, and this child sex abuse could be stopped.
I have heard that Senator Dann's opponent in the race for attorney general is claiming that Dann is not tough on sex offenders. My experience is that Senator Dann has been one of the biggest advocates for protecting children and helping victims.
Judy Block Jones
'Shroom head says the band's still got it: I only discovered Mushroomhead ["Welcome the Savior," September 20] about three years ago. At 35, I feel like an old man when I see the crowds at the shows.
I was able to get the new CD and meet the band at the FYE in Mentor. I love the sound on the new album. Yes, it's different from their past efforts, but that's probably what I like most about it. Every song is different.
You listen to most bands on the radio today and you can name the artist in two notes -- it's all cookie-cutter music. A band finds a sound that sells and then is held to it by the record companies and fans, because that is what they expect to hear. Some bands have tried to change their sound, but they seem to lose their identity in the process.
I think this album does an excellent job of both maintaining Mushroomhead's identity and showcasing the group's abilities and range. And I still look forward to being the old man at the next show I can catch.
Due to a writer's error, the item describing Parnell's Pub in Scene's "Best of Cleveland" issue (September 27) incorrectly stated that the bar hosts live music events on Thursday and Friday nights, and that the bar sometimes holds Guinness-pouring competitions for customers. The bar no longer hosts live music, and the Guinness competition was a one-time event.