Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

June 12, 2013

June 13, 2013 letters

Tribune staff writer

Celebrate opinions of Heck and Mohr

As I’ve read the recent articles posited by Ms. Mohr and Ms. Hensley concerning Mr. Heck’s commencement speech, several things have come to mind.

Firstly, a child’s education is ultimately the responsibility of the parents. I would not hesitate to enroll my children in Mr. Heck’s class, because the foundation of their education has already been laid. At home they have learned the most important lessons: kindness, tolerance, critical thinking, independence. Around the dinner table, we as a family have discussed teachers and ideas that my children agree and disagree with. They have learned from both.

My children have been bombarded with a vast array of ideas and philosophies already in this electronic age. I am not afraid of this, and I’m certainly not offended that some teachers may say things that may differ from my children’s beliefs, because my children know who they are and can stand up for themselves.

I can only imagine that Ms. Mohr’s and Ms. Hensley’s parents are beaming with pride, having proof that their daughters are intelligent, articulate women who are capable of taking action when they see the need.

Secondly, who says American education isn’t alive and well? Although the ultimate responsibility of education falls to the parent, teachers do play an important role. It’s obvious that these two young women from different school systems have become responsible, participatory citizens. There must be teachers out there beaming with pride, saying, “She was one of my students.”

Thirdly, instead of responding in anger to opinions we don’t agree with, cannot we celebrate the fact that we as a nation have a tremendous freedom of speech? I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the speeches and articles of Mr. Heck, Ms. Mohr and Ms. Hensley because they made me think.

Where else on earth can a person freely access such a vast marketplace of ideas?

Pam Gilbody


Urging responsible parenting a concern?

How dare Peter Heck suggest in his commencement speech at Eastern High School that my mother was right in prioritizing me throughout my childhood! Do you know how much time I have spent throughout my adult years working through the fallout of having a loving and devoted mother who made me feel more important than her career? Hopefully, I will fully recover someday from my mother’s misplaced priorities.

And how dare Peter Heck suggest that my wife is a respectable woman by choosing, herself, to stay home with our four young children during this stage of their lives! I fear for our children and the children of any family who has a mother, working outside the home or not, who prioritizes her kids over her career. Peter’s remarks were extremely insensitive to myself, my children, and any other child who has a responsible and sacrificial mother.

In all seriousness, Peter Heck should be thanked for speaking the truth in a culture that does everything it can to keep it silenced. I read the transcript of his speech. What an indictment of our society that a message of responsible motherhood and fatherhood is deemed controversial.

The horrific headlines that paint the news of our communities, state and nation should come as no surprise. God help us.

Nathan Salsbery