Excerpts from reader commentary on News stories and staffers' online blog postings last week. Online comments come from registered users, but comments to the blogs can be posted under pen names.
JoePa: News sports columnist Bucky Gleason's reflection on the life and death of iconic Penn State football coach Joe Paterno elicited several comments, including this from Rick Bridenbaker of West Seneca:
Joe Paterno cast a large shadow for a long time and affected the lives of many students and athletes. Many of those present students, along with scores of his former students, indicate that his influence was a positive one.
I don't know to what extent his lack of involvement in the Sandusky affair made the problem worse any more than I know what his reasons were for not taking a more forceful stand in dealing with it.
I do know why people are unable to weigh his entire life in the balance, though, and can judge the actions of this dying old man solely on the basis of this one act. That's due to the fact that we seem to be able to see the shortcomings in others with an uncanny clarity of vision. It's too bad, however, we can't see our own shortcomings with that same 20-20 vision because we'd all be better persons if we did.
Thomas Beecher II of Niagara Falls offered this view to Paterno's defenders:
Joe Paterno was a football coach. Not a hero.
He also did the absolute minimum when confronted with the possibility that one of his closest friends was abusing children in his facilities. If this was New York, he would have been criminally negligent under mandated reporter laws for not reporting it to CPS.
Think about that before you put a halo over the man's head.
97 Rockin' from Florida: News staff reporter Jane Kwiatkowski's piece about Larry Norton and his "live" Buffalo broadcasts from the Sunshine State received positive response, including this from Chris Johnston of Buffalo:
This is all around a good story. I think they should weave the Florida angle more into the broadcast. Heck, half of Buffalo is down there anyway during the winter.
Harry Kozlowski of Hooksett, N.H., said:
This is also an interesting window into how technology lets one do their job from almost anywhere. Larry isn't the only radio personality doing their shows remotely or, for that matter, live! Almost every radio station today has at least one air shift that is "voice-tracked" earlier, sometimes from another city. The reasons range from giving an employee flexibility to cost-savings.
School Zone: A blog by News education reporter Mary Pasciak, who researched the number of school suspensions given to kindergartners last year, brought several comments, including this from Dutchman who said:
This is the result of poor parental training of the child. Why should a teacher have to climb onto shelves to get a child down? As to the open-door policy, close the doors of the school. This will stop children from leaving the building. This is common sense. You would not leave your front door at home wide open with a small child in the house.
Regardless, using suspensions as a correction tool is inappropriate with such young children. They don't even understand the concept and relation between their offense and the punishment. These kids are young enough to be taught. However, teaching them that poor behavior will earn them time away from school is the wrong message. Suspensions on or off campus should be the last resort and should only be used to punish the most serious of offenses.
On the other hand, the misbehaving child MUST be removed from the class if he does not follow the teacher's directions. Otherwise, the entire class is disrupted and the other children are learning that it is OK to misbehave. In the end, however, it all goes back to the parents. It is not that the teachers are not qualified, but that the children come from a culture which permits misbehaving, regardless of age and where parents are more involved in their own lives than the lives of their children.