June 1, 2012

Letters to the editor
Oceans threatened by plastic pollution

(Continued from page 1)

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Plastic waste is to blame for polluting our oceans, a reader writes.

2011 Press Herald file/Gordon Chibroski

Betsy Hanscom

Scarborough

Bill Nemitz's column (May 25) caused disgust and anger to rear their foul heads in my mind. It is beyond belief that Westbrook High School's assistant principal, Howard Jack, and principal, Thomas O'Malley, didn't know about and/or were actively inactive throughout Tori Pabst's multiple cries for help.

How could officials at Westbrook High School not know about the bullying occurring inside the walls of their school? How could they ignore and/or not do anything about Tori's pain and abuse that was clearly out in the open for all to see? If they were aware of the bullying and resulting personal pain and did nothing, there should be consequences. If they weren't aware of the bullying and the personal suffering, there should be consequences. Either way, the spotlight is now on their callous incompetence.

For Thomas O'Malley to fall back on the glib, vapid notion that "we" can turn Tori's suffering into "a teaching and positive type of thing" extends the abuse Tori experienced and is an insult to public education, to hard working and decent educators throughout Maine, and to every single student who is forced into the isolation of abuse and bullying inside our school buildings.

Yes, there are lessons to be learned. However, it's got to go beyond lessons to be learned. Tori is an admirable, brave young woman and has set a strong example for all of us. And now Westbrook High School needs to set another kind of example: Remove the school administrators who have been exposed as inept educators and who have clearly shirked their tax-paid responsibility to provide a healthy learning environment for all students.

Michael Ehringhaus

Portland

Memorial Day parade is no place for politics

I am the daughter of a WWII veteran who served proudly in the USMC at Iwo Jima. My dad's service and the service of the thousands of veterans who have and are serving this country is something we, as Americans, should all take time to honor, particularly on Memorial Day. To those who marched in all the area parades, I thank you for your dedication. Now for the real reason for this letter.

I was disappointed, dismayed and thoroughly offended to see several area political candidates using (the Memorial Day) parade as platforms for their current campaigns when instead they should have taken the time to honor our military personnel, past, present and future.

In my opinion, this behavior blatantly disrespects and dishonors all the men and women who so proudly serve this nation. If you wish to march in a parade to show your respect for our veterans then certainly you should do so, but please leave the glad-handing, "vote for me" (act) to another place and time. A Memorial Day parade is not the proper venue for campaigning and to those of you, and you know who you are, I can only say "shame on you." You lost my vote, and I would encourage everyone who reads this to seriously consider your lapse in judgment in exhibiting such disrespect as reason enough to consider the "other guy" when it comes time to visit the polls.

Sandra Andrews

Old Orchard Beach

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