Bad lessons taught
Regarding The Associated Press news story “Boston pupils all eat for free” (Sept. 7 and TribLIVE.com): Say what?
Regarding the letter “Head Start successful” (Sept. 9 and TribLIVE.com), in which Ray Firth, policy initiatives director in the University of Pittsburgh's Office of Child Development, says “benefits include an increase in school completion, greater earnings for Head Start alumni and less crime”: Say what?
The “free generation” of the 21st century seems to be in place. Even children from families of means are learning to opt out to the easiest side of easy — if it's free. And Firth assures us that because of these free programs from birth, “less crime” is rampant within American cities.
In his column “You don't have to stay poor” (Sept. 12 and TribLIVE.com), Walter Williams is poignant: “(I)f you stay poor, it is your fault.” And he quotes John Harold Johnson: “Wealth is less a matter of circumstance than it is a matter of knowledge and choice.”
Instead, it seems, we are teaching children just the opposite: free food, free bus rides and a free education from birth — and in some cases, like Pittsburgh Public Schools, a free college education — mean someone else will provide for you.
What choices will students make as adults if they learn everything is free? None. They won't have to make choices; others, like the government they depend upon, will do it for them.
The writer is a retired Pittsburgh Public Schools teacher.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.