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'Tiger' mothers and parenting; new seniority rules for teachers; a controversial Smithsonian exhibit

January 26, 2011

The tale of the 'Tiger'

Re "Parenting experts tackle 'Tiger,' " Jan. 23

A motivated, driven individual of any class, color or creed can become her own drill sergeant, no Chinese "Tiger Mother" needed.

Despite the backlash over author Amy Chua's denial to her children of bathroom or water breaks, I imposed similar discipline on myself from middle to graduate school. Regarding the denial of play dates and the ostracization from not watching television, children can socialize with their siblings, who are raised with similar rules, to overcome isolation.

Think of Aesop's fable of the ant and the grasshopper. As the East rises in fields such as math that demand sheer hard work, the West cannot let complacency turn us into grasshoppers.

Lynda Nguyen

San Francisco

Although one of the keystones of a successful education is parental support, students must be allowed to assume personal responsibility for their learning and to learn the importance of budgeting their time.

Young people whose autonomy is taken from them risk their ability to learn such a lesson.

Students must be allowed to succeed or fail on their own and to learn from their experiences. So-called Tiger mothers must realize that turning children into automatons removes growth factors that are just as important, if not more so, than what is learned from excessive drilling.

Many of these youths no longer have the time to simply enjoy the pleasures of young life and are forced into the anxieties of adulthood much too soon.

Milton B. Rouse

Dana Point

I'll take my fun-loving all-American girl over Chua's robot child any day of the week.

Liz McNabb

Costa Mesa

A strong rope and a stout tree

Re "Loss of drug new setback for death penalty," Jan. 22

It is incredible that we have become so caring in putting the condemned to death.

Years ago, when bullets were too expensive, hanging was the method of choice. It occasionally resulted in decapitation, which was messy but did the job.

With Edison's commercialization of electricity, we moved to the electric chair.

Why we continue to look for a humane approach when the condemned have raped, tortured and killed their victims is politically incorrect foolishness. A slug to the brain is quick, effective and doesn't cost a lot.

Spending more than $250,000 on an execution chamber is sheer stupidity. It's no wonder California has a budget problem.

Thomas L. Pincu

Los Angeles

Though California is currently well stocked with sodium thiopental, Hospira's decision to discontinue producing the drug will have consequences here and in all death penalty states.

Amending the lethal injection protocols will undoubtedly be a long, hard slog — the last change took California four years to ratify — and will provide the state another opportunity to consider the one life-saving and economical alternative to using thiopental: abolishing the death penalty.

It is the only option that ensures the state would save about $1 billion over the next five years and protect human life.

Zac Stone

San Francisco

So, the U.S. prohibits the importation of drugs from foreign countries because they may be unsafe, but will allow the importation of drugs to put people to death. Does anyone see an inconsistency? Just asking.

Saralea Altman

Valley Glen

Saying so long to seniority

Re "Teachers no longer safe in seniority," Jan. 22

Thanks to the ACLU, L.A. Unified School District teachers have lost a key ingredient that lets them be good teachers.

Tenure protects teachers who try to go beyond the mindless curriculum near and dear to the heart of educational bureaucrats. Now those bureaucrats have been handed a great weapon to further their goal of demolishing the teachers union.

No thought is given to fighting for adequate staffing and funding for all schools. Such short-sightedness is pathetic.

At least conservatives who want to destroy public education stab teachers in the heart. Good liberals stab us in the back.

Philip Brimble

Los Angeles

The pay is substandard given the education required. Policymakers tell you how to perform your job, and when it doesn't work, you get the blame. Your classrooms are overcrowded.

The media report on how horrible our public education system is and how it's all your fault. Few respect your opinion. And now the job security you had is being taken away.

Why would any decent, caring person go into the teaching profession today?

Linda Barnett


Once teacher seniority is done away with in this era of tight school budgets, the evaluation system to determine which teachers get to keep their job will be this: new teacher equals cheap teacher equals good teacher. Experienced teachers, who are the most highly paid, will be the first to go.

Marlin Sobbota


Arguing over an exhibit

Re "A hasty call at Smithsonian," Feb. 21

Given the current climate of political discourse, it's no wonder Smithsonian chief G. Wayne Clough felt enormous pressure to pull a video from the "Hide/Seek" exhibit.

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