“Massacres in Haditha, School Beat…”

by on May 31, 2006

Dear Editor,

The massacres of Iraqi children, women, and men by U.S. Marines in Haditha bring back images of the slaughtered bodies of Vietnamese babies, children, women, and men strewn in the ravines of the village of My Lai during the My Lai massacre perpetrated by U.S. Army soldiers in the Viet Nam War.

Let us call for the end of the bloodshed in Iraq. Let us have reverence and respect for the sanctity of human life, Iraqi and American.

Let us heed the calls of our nation’s statesmen including Former President Bill Clinton, Former President and Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Jimmy Carter, and the Dean of the U.S. Senate, Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who since the invasion of Iraq, have called our nation’s attention to the War in Iraq as a terrible and tragic mistake for our human family.

Our nation’s troops in Iraq, the Iraqi people, and the American people deserve to live in peace, not bloodshed and killing. The daily bloodshed and decimation of human life in Iraq continue to taint our consciences. Every Iraqi or American human being injured or killed in Iraq further diminishes our common humanity.

Anh Le

Dear Randy and Casey,

I am really encouraged by Lisa Schiff’s “School Beat” column last week about parents joining in the efforts to make the schools healthy places for students and staff. Despite all of our efforts over many years, we haven’t gotten very far-which should be obvious to everyone.

Most of the solutions involve low/no cost, big benefit activities, e.g. using less toxic/non-toxic janitorial cleaning product, like other City agencies in San Francisco are already doing, as are school districts across the country. Taking advantage of the Williams settlement to make high priority repairs with State money-not the District’s. Implementing a program approved by the Board of Education last year to remove toxic asthma triggers from schools [Tools for Schools], and more.

None of us can learn and perform at our best when sick. Unfortunately, the “environmental” conditions in many of the District’s schools are not healthy for anyone. It will take the right “messengers-parents and the rest of the school community-to change them for the better. That is why I am so encouraged by Lisa’s column. It’s a call to parents to be the messengers, and I look forward to them answering that call.

Neil Gendel, Director
Healthy Children Organizing Project

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