The following is in reference to your Oct. 6 “Our View” editorial regarding school bullying of immigrant children.

I presume I was not the only reader who was horrified when reading that “bus drivers are refusing to pick up immigrant children or openly ridiculing them and encouraging other students to join in.”

Furthermore, to find out that “teachers are turning a blind eye to bullying or telling immigrants that they’re not cut out for challenging classes” startled me as well. Should this be decided by a teacher who is not paying attention to bullying?

Being a once-upon-a-time immigrant myself, who came to this country at the age of 16, I have always been acutely aware of the many challenges of a new country – language, customs, dress code, you name it – that any foreigner, young or old, has to face.

I was fortunate in having studied English for five years before I came to this country, so I was spared the anxiety of trying to understand or making myself understood. Imagine how difficult every day must be for today’s non-English-speaking young immigrants. They have been allowed to come here to live. They have been accepted into some schools with minimum communication skills. They are defenseless in front of bullies and/or demanding teachers.

It seems the first thing that should happen is to allow them to attend English language classes on a daily basis. Once they are able to understand what the teachers are talking about they can make themselves understood, and only then be fit for a so-called “challenging” class.

One can only hope that the Portland Press Herald will be able to give its many readers a follow-up report, stating that the names of those bus drivers have been turned over to the police department and their driver’s licenses removed.

Gunnel Larsdotter

Portland