New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, October 18, 1996, Page 4

Publication: New Braunfels Herald Zeitung October 18, 1996

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 18, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas 4A O Herald-Zeitung O Friday, October 18,1996 Opinion ■ To talk with Managing Editor Doug Loveday about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, ext. 220 Herald-Zeitung Opinion Online contact ■ To submit letters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet, or to simply contact staff members, the managing editor's address is DLovedayOAOL.com. QUOTABLE “I teach (my students] freedom— the freedom to raise their hands and ask questions, the freedom to answer questions. Teaching is fun, and the only thing Pm doing is helping a child (reach his or her potential].” Jaime Escalante educator, 1994 E D I T * O R I A LKick the habit New research linking cigarette smoke to lung damage should inspire many to quit To many Americans, the idea that cigarette smoking can cause lung cancer has been accepted as fact. We’ve believed that to be true for the many years since warning labels were required on packs of smokes in this country. But throughout the various new findings by the medical community and warnings from the Surgeon General’s Office over the years, tobacco companies have steadfastly argued that no provable link had been established between smoking and cancer of the lung. The tobacco interests have been able to fund studies of their own that do not tie the act of smoking with higher incidences of lung tumors. And apparently, many Americans have believed that study because many have not even attempted to quit their smoking habit. But now, new research appears to put the question to rest. Scientists are claiming they’ve identified a chemical in cigarette smoke that actually causes genetic damage in lung cells — damage that is strikingly similar to damage seen in malignant tumors of the lung. Because the findings will likely be used by some in pending interest ta dispute these latest findings. They have to try, or the/Ur finished. The American people have had the statistical information for years — smokers are so many times more likely to develop lung cancer, etc. But the real medical evidence has eluded them, and those addicted to cigarettes have had more excuses to put off breaking their habit. But now’s decision time. To continue a habit you know is actually altering and damaging the genetic makeup of cells is selfdestructive in the least. See your doctor today to learn of the different options available today to break the cigarette habit. (Today’s editorial was written by Managing Editor Doug Loveday.) Write us • • • The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung welcomes letters on any public issue. The editor reserves the right to correct spelling, style, punctuation and known factual errors. Letters should be kept to 250 words. We publish only original mail addressed to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung bearing the writer's signature. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included. Please cite the page number and date of any article that is mentioned. Preference is given to writers who have not been published in the previous 30 days. Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor do the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Fax: (210)625-1224 New BraunfelsHerald-Zeitung Editor and Publisher, ext. 301.........................................Doug    Toney Managing Editor, ext. 220........................................ Doug    Loveday Director of Advertising, ext. 308 ........................Debbie    Banta-Scott Retail Advertising Manager, 209...................................Jack    Osteen Classified Advertising Manager, ext. 214................Karen Reininger Business Manager, ext 202........................................Mary    Lee Hall Circulation Director, ext 228....................................Carol Ann Avery Pressroom Foreman, ext 205..........................................Billy    Parnell City Editor, ext 221..............................,............................Jim    Denery Published on Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Friday by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (USPS 377-S80) 707 Lands St., or P.O. Drawer 3 ll 328, New Braunfels, Comal County, Tx. 78131 -1328. Periodical postage paid by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung in New Braunfels, Texas. Carrier delivered in Comal and Guadalupe counties: three months, $20.30; six months, $37; one year, $66. Senior Citizen Discounts by earner delivery only: six months, $33; one year. $62. Mail delivery outside Comal County in Texas: three months, $30.30; six months, $53; one year, $103.50. Mail outside Texas: six months, $78; one year, $118.25. Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or by 7:30 a.rn. on Sunday may call (210) 625-9144 or by 7 p.m. weekdays or by 11 a m. on Sunday. Posthaste*: Send address changes to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Tx. 78131 -1328 Rumor min can grind the best of us I used to have a book called “Momilies” — actually three of them, which I gave away to three different friends. It’s a little humor book full of those phrases women heard their mothers use and promised themselves they’d never repeat — only to find the very same words leaping from their lips in times of exasperation and short temper. Phrases like “don’t run with that stick; it’ll put your eye out.” My mom lost a long battle with cancer in 1984, and I invoke the memory of her wisdom when I’m wrestling my toughest inner problems — admitting to my own mistakes, living with things I can’t change, seeing good people with good intentions make bad mistakes and cause harm, including myself. I could never hide the truth from my mom. She has been at the front of my thoughts in the last few weeks. My mom was a teacher. My daughter is only in the fifth grade, but tension pervades the New Braunfels Independent School District. It’s natural that our emotions should be high. After all, the current political controversy affects our children. Nothing hits closer to home than that. Our primitive protective instincts come to the surface when something affects our kids, as it should. But this isn’t a predatory animal we’re dealing with. It’s a convoluted political situation that taxes our intellects, our knowledge and our ethics. We parents need our wits about us if we’re going to serve our children best. My mom taught eighth grade English at a junior high in the “projects” in Cincinnati. She was more strict with herself than anyone I have ever met. She never joined the teacher’s union, and faced controversy when the teachers went on strike for better benefits. ‘Teachers are professionals, just like doctors and lawyers,” she would say. “Our calling should transcend wages and benefits.” (Yes, Mom used words like “transcend” in every-day speech. She believed an English teacher’s conversation should be as impeccable as her prose.) My mom voted religiously, but kept her choices secret, even from immediate family. She campaigned for school bond issues, but never for a particular candidate. I used to think that was kind of strange. “Board members and policies come and go,” my mom said. “The children will still be here when die current board is long gone, and they will still need me to teach them to the best of my ability.” I’ve seen many teachers and administrators lately behave just as my mom would have. They’ve reassured me about my family’s choice to live in New Braunfels because of the schools, as has the conduct of the New Braunfels High School students. Another of Mom’s roles echoes daily in my mind. “Don’t gossip. Don’t listen to it. Don’t repeat it. Ignore it. No good will ever come of it.” I used to think that was a bit strident. Used to. The corollary to the law on gossip according to Elizabeth Meininger Flynt also applies right now: “lf you don’t have something constructive to add to the argument, be quiet and listen.” Statistics aside — because they can always be presented to support whatever argument you want to make — many worthy ideas have come out of a variety of people in the school debates. That is, if you Susan Flynt England Herald-Zeitung Columnist filter out die hearsay, innuendo, and “So-and-so said that so-and-so said.” Trying to sift reliable fact from fiction about the reassignments of the NBHS administrators, I realize that every bit of what I’-vc heard, on or off die record, is rumor. The damage from the administrators’ reassignments has already been done. I doubt that the who, what, when, why, and who is to blame will ever move from the realm of supposition to the realm of documented fact. When I covered city council a year or so ago, the council was said to be divided. There were people who strongly disliked each other on that council. Rumors and accusations of wrongdoing by various people flew around. I still don’t know first-hand if any were true. But those council members worked together. They resisted, for the most part, the temptation to further stoke already inflamed citizens when issues were hot. They weren’t saints, but they managed to work together despite differences, lf our school board members are inclined to follow their example, I hope we parents won’t stand in their way. Another of my mom’s sayings comes to mind. “Don’t point your finger in blame. Save your energy for working on your own shortcomings.” If we parents saved the energy we’ve spent assigning blame, sifted out the rumors, and listened to what was said, not who said it, we’d have a very productive debate going on. We’d be a long way toward making our good but imperfect schools a lot better, one goal on which I pray we can all agree. It’s time to move ahead. (Susan Flynt England may be reached by calling 625-9144, ext. 222.) Letters to the EditorFreshman will miss out now that administrators are gona Editor, I am writing in regard to the recent removal of New Braunfels High School’s two very much loved administrators. At an assembly, after announcing hts resignation, Coach Engler made a comment that everyone wanted to be at NBHS because it was such a great school. NBHS is such a great school because of Coach Engler and Mr. Turman. We, the students, make up the body of the school. Coach Engler and Mr. Turman made up the heart. What happens to a body when you take away the heart? For all the people who say this has nothing to do with emotion, where is your heart? Maybe you can’t see how we as students hurt because you never had someone as inspirational in your life as Coach Engler or Mr. Turman. I pity those who would not support the two top administrators at NBHS and in turn, most of the student body. I find it hard to believe that Coach Engler chose to resign. Just weeks before he talked about retiring from New Braunfels High School the year I graduate — 1998. I thought to myself how privileged I would be to share the rest of my high school days with the guidance of Coach Engler, and have him’ hand me my diploma as I walked across the stage. I feel sorry for those freshmen who will never get the chance to know Coach Engler or Mr. Turman. You really missed out. Jessica West NBHS studentA look at SAT acorea shows dacllna In parforvnancs Editor, On Sunday, Oct. 6,1 submitted a letter regarding the issue of traditional/block scheduling SAT scores. I stated that “the key to troth in any situation is knowledge of documented facts which are readily available to each of us through the counselors’ office at the high school.” I went on to state that “a review of the SAT scores since die commencement of accelerated block scheduling shows a downward trend since the change from traditional scheduling.” In the Oct. IO edition of the Herald-Zeitung an article appeared stating that “in the last week or so, the New Braunfels I SD central office has received numerous requests for the Scholastic Aptitude Test scores of NB1SD students.” It pleases me that citizens are trying to look for the facts in order to make up their own minds about this controversial issue. However, wouldn’t it have been pertinent for NBISD to provide your readers with an account of the last year of SAT score results during a traditional schedule as opposed to the last year of SAT scores during block scheduling in order for them to make a fair assessment? Traditional schedule — 1993-1994 SAT total average for NBISD -1081. Block schedule — 1995-19% SAT total average for NBISD -1055. Additionally, if one chose to average the documented SAT scores of the last two years under a traditional schedule (1070) and make a comparison using the last two years of SAT scores under block scheduling (1028), close examination of the results would prove to be quite illuminating. (Excerpts taken from SAT Testing Data Table 2-I. Documented Data of Number of Test Takers/Percentage of Graduating Seniors Taking SAT I in 1995-% would be worthy for citizens to obtain when making comparisons with other districts...) Thank you for allowing me to provide your subscribers with the answers they may have been seeking when they turned to an NBISD central office personnel member for help. I pray that the committee formed to review the concerns of all students will release their recommendations so those who choose to continue with our current schedule may, and that the fundamental education all youth deserve be implemented at once to those who want it. Kay Power NBISD parent/teacherParsnt pill faith in abilltlac of two high school principals Editor, Many supporters of Mr. Turman and Coach Engler have written letters eloquently expressing their con- Look for non totters on tbs reassignment of NBHS sdn tints* trstors and Merit sriiedulng In Sunday* HdrM-Zoltung. ce ms and feelings, which also happen to be the same as mine. I want to add a few more things, based on the facts we have been given; but I don’t think we have all the facts, and we probably never will. As for the educational needs of my kids, I defer to these two gentlemen. That is how much faith I have in the decisions they make. They have made the education, well-being and safety of students their business for years. They are in school every day with my kids, and I am not. They know the educational needs of my kids. If these two men don’t like the direction in which the board is going, I guarantee, I don’t like it either. The way things are now, if my kids weren’t in band, I would consider home schooling. The majority of students, teachers and parents prefer block scheduling. I can’t believe a minority of people has so much power. The last time I looked, I was living in New Braunfels, Texas, U.S.A. Our government, at all levels, is supposed to be a democracy (not to be confused with democrat). Where is the democracy in this asinine decision? The majority of people (young adults, their parents and teachers) want Mr. Turman and Coach Engler back at the high school, and want to keep block scheduling as it is now. To the people involved in this power play, I would like to say, just leave block scheduling alone. Reverse your decision, and let Mr. Turman and Coach Engler return to the (ugh school, and give them your full support. I would like to take this time to thank the Herald-Zeitung and KGNB for their coverage on this issue. Lindy Sohn New Braunfels ;

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Publication: New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

Issue Date: October 18, 1996

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