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Letters to the Editor

When it comes to schools, we should learn from the past

To the Editor:

A recent headline in The Times on March 15, said “Honor those who died, promote change.” On March 26, a headline in The News Tribune read “Anguished students take aim at gun laws, next election” again focusing on passing tougher gun laws.

Unfortunately not all change is for the better. Sometimes change makes things worse. We should have learned this by studying the consequences of the 18th Amendment, which prohibited the “manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors” in the U.S. In the 13 years before it was repealed by the 21st Amendment, instead of a reduction of public drunkenness as intended, disrespect for the law increased and violence became widespread by those who controlled the black market liquor industry they had established. There are legitimate uses for alcohol, just as there are legitimate uses for guns. More gun laws might bring even more disrespect and violence rather than an end to school shootings. It would seem to this grandmother that a better change might be promoted by removing the censorship mandated by the Supreme Court of the United States that removed God from public schools when they prohibited prayer, reading the Bible or even posting the Ten Commandments so that we might again have a common moral foundation for the laws of our nation.

The best way to learn what the consequences of various actions are is to learn from the past. Otherwise we simply repeat past mistakes. We can learn from the past by studying the history of our own country as well as the history of other people who came before us from sources, such as the Old Testament. Schools should be places where the free expression and discussion of ideas is encouraged, not censored.

PATRICIA WAGNER

Utica

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