Letters: Sex Trafficking, Gun Control, Teacher Raises, School Librarians

Outrageous abuse of womenRe: "Owner of NFL's Patriots accused," Feb. 23 news story.American police and the FBI knew sex-trafficked Asian women were being exploited and forced to have sex against their will — they had all the proof they needed in days. But they didn't stop it. They didn't rescue these women and replace them with undercover vice officers. Instead they allowed it to go on for several months while videotaping and watching.How would the United States react if another country's police force knew sex-trafficked American women were being forced to have sex against their will and they didn't stop it? What if a foreign police department stood by and videotaped and watched American women be abused for months, and did nothing? Americans would be rightly outraged if this happened to American women in another country. Shouldn't we be outraged that young Asian women were treated this way by our police?Gary Huber, DallasGun laws not enforcedRe: "House passes gun-control bill — Measure requires background checks on all sales, transfers," Thursday news story.So the Democrats finally got their "universal" background check bill passed in the House. I feel much safer now. I'm sure every thug dealing in illegal guns will now go with his customer to a licensed dealer and have a background check done on his customer. So far, in every mass shooting I remember in the past few years the gun used was purchased legally. In Florida, the system failed miserably. For weeks people had warned everyone from the FBI on down that the shooter was planning a school shooting, yet he was able to pass a background check and purchase a rifle from a sporting goods store. In Sutherland Springs the demented shooter had a felony conviction for assault and was kicked out of the U.S. Air Force. Yet, he still passed a background check and purchased his weapon legally. There are other similar cases, the most recent in Aurora. When will this nonsense stop?I would support any law that I thought would stop gun violence. So far I haven't heard of any proposals that made sense. It might help if laws already on the books were enforced.Jimmie George, FarmersvilleAnother idea for teacher raisesRe: "Teacher Raises Don't Solve the Issue — Good intentions aside, across-the-board pay hikes won't boost student performance," Thursday Editorials.Your concerns with an across-the-board, $5,000 pay raise for teachers is on target. But your recommendation that pay raises should instead be merit-based, not so much. As someone said once, to paraphrase, equal treatment for unequal people is not equal at all. Excellent teachers are excellent in part because they teach in an excellent, well-funded environment. Let me make an alternative recommendation: Pay raises should go to underfunded urban and rural school districts in order to attract great teachers. That should be accompanied by school finance reform to provide the excellent educational environments that excellent teachers need to be excellent.Terry Hoops, ShermanDon't forget school librariansRe: "Senate committee OKs $5K teacher raise bill — Bipartisan effort would increase pay of 350,000 full-time educators," Wednesday news story.The Texas Senate will soon consider SB 3, a bill that provides a $5,000 raise to public school teachers. While there is no doubt that Texas' teachers deserve a raise, the Texas Library Association believes "teachers" is defined too narrowly and the 4,500 certified school librarians in our schools should be included. School librarians are teachers in the largest classroom on campus, reaching every student in the school.School librarians possess a teacher certificate, at least two years of classroom experience, a master's degree and a school librarian certificate. We teach the state curriculum, the TEKS, every day. In addition to supporting literacy, and access to and use of digital resources, we teach research, coding, robotics, website development, project management and other essential skills.These valuable educators provide individual and classroom instruction to students and partner with classroom teachers and administrators on curriculum development, professional development and literacy initiatives. The Legislature should include them in any pay raise to teachers.Jennifer LaBoon, Fort Worth  Continue reading...

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