In the weekly feature called "e-views," we invite readers to answer a question via email.
Last week's question:
The Brentwood Union School District has agreed to pay $950,000 to a Contra Costa family whose 5-year-old special needs child was thrown to the floor and kicked by a teacher two years ago, one of many complaints of physical and mental abuse by the teacher that went unreported to authorities. What do you think needs to change to ensure something like this doesn't happen again?
LEARNING TAKES PLACE when a student gives 100 percent of their attention to the teacher. That means the classroom should be free of distraction. Placing special needs children in with the other children may sound like a noble idea, but placing the needs of the one above the needs of the many could lead to problems. Without special surroundings and special training, special needs children may be at risk in the ordinary classroom -- a tragedy waiting to happen. In this case, everyone loses.
I THINK THAT the captain of the ship should be investigated, and it should be from the top down that the snowball rolls. People who should have reported it should be fired. New implementation of the reporting system or protocol should be scrutinized and fixed.
THE LAWS ALREADY exist as to the crime(s) involved, reporting requirement for specific employees, and the potential penalties that may be exacted on the responsible.
Unfortunately, the potential for action versus no action mistakes exists in the interpretations of the reporting and responsibilities laws involved. Education, training, testing, etc., of those things, needs to be improved upon to try to prevent the potential misunderstandings involved. The crux of the Brentwood matter, however, is that the responsible teacher should've been investigated, prosecuted pursued, and not allowed to work in any capacity or with any exposure to the student children. I believe this case supports serious consideration of my thoughts and others on this. Blaming those who mistakenly misunderstood or were misrepresented as to what should've been done, just delays corrective action from being taken. Let the healing begin -- like yesterday is not too soon!
Ralph A. Hernandez
This week's question:
Last week, four young teens were shot while standing outside a home in Brentwood, another teen was shot and killed in downtown Pittsburg, and a man was found shot to death in Antioch. How concerned are you about the recent spate of gun violence in East County? What do you think should be done to make our neighborhoods safer?
Email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please limit responses to a few sentences, and be sure to include your full name and city of residence. Not all responses will be published. Note: Please respond before Monday.