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The Public Pulse: Teachers' key role; American principles; Thanks to Pour, Khan

The Public Pulse: Teachers' key role; American principles; Thanks to Pour, Khan

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The Papio-La Vista school district hosted a vaccine clinic on Saturday.

Teachers’ role

In response to Janice Mohs’ uninformed opinion posted on March 9, I am a teacher. I have been in the classroom since the first of August. I wipe down and sanitize 15 tables and 30 chairs, door handles, light switches and counter tops in my classroom after each class period. I have sanitized after each use microscopes, glassware and all laboratory equipment used daily in my science classroom including colored pencils, tape dispensers, markers, staplers, rulers and whatever else the students touch during class. The district I teach in had a significantly lower infection rate than the Omaha Public Schools and chose to have students attend in person. That was fortunate for the students and their families.

To be upset that teachers get vaccinated is shortsighted. Middle school and high school teachers come in direct contact with 75 to 125 students daily as part of their duties. We have no choice in this. The schools that were open decided that it was safe for the community to do so, and the teachers bore the brunt of that responsibility to keep the children safe. A mask mandate is a policy decision outside of the authority of teachers; enforcing mask wearing every day, every class period and in the hallways between periods falls to the classroom teacher.

Without teachers vaccinated, the risk of infection grows and the risk of student attendance is endangered. If a child is exposed to the virus at school and brings it home, which parents will be able to go to work?

It is about trying to impact the most people and return the community to levels of safety that we had become used to. If teachers become exposed at a rate similar to the rates of infection we have seen in Douglas County, the schools will have to at least close; this will impact countless families. To criticize the teachers for their turn at vaccination is shortsighted indeed.

Dennis Gehringer, Omaha

Gates, it’s your move

Per Nancy Gaarder’s recent article, Bill Gates is calling on people of wealthy nations to forgo beef to slow climate change. This would crush Nebraska’s economy, as 25% is ag based.

I don’t deny the science of climate change and will gladly give up beef if Bill makes the first move. The article mentions that his 20,000-plus Nebraska acres are not grazing land for cattle, but cropland. The crops grown are most likely bound for feed lots to fatten cattle before it reaches our plate, only compounding the problem.

So Bill make the first move and forgo your cash rent and put your land into CRP so we can all hunt it to replace the lost protein. You don’t need the money like we don’t need the set menu.

Matt Kuhn, Omaha

American principles

Copies of Rick Galusha’s (from the March 5 World-Herald) column titled “Timeless principles to strengthen society” ought to be enlarged and hung at an important location in every household in the United States. It is a real gem!

The Founding Fathers referred to “The Social Contract.” The Social Contract was, among other things, the ability of everyone to live together in peace and harmony. People would need to have high moral standards, and it would require the people to be informed about important issues (i.e. intelligent voting). This all takes work and time. These can be taught in school.

The timeless principles can easily be summarized in the biblical Commandments number 3 to 10. (The first two commandments easily fit with the other eight. They are most likely best learned within the family unit and or house of worship.)

Dave Haar, Omaha

Protecting the public

I completely disagree with Bradley Wardell’s opinion about Dr. Audi Pour and Dr. Ali Khan.

I would like to thank the doctors for caring more about our citizens’ lives and trying to save them than about what’s popular in anti-mask-wearing people’s minds.

It’s a proven fact that masks save lives when it comes to the coronavirus, and I don’t understand why people don’t care enough about their fellow citizens’ lives to wear them automatically, to protect others.

Thank you to the Omaha City Council and the mayor of Lincoln for caring enough about their citizens’ lives to implement mask mandates when their president and governor did not care enough about our health and well-being.

I own a small business and I have taken a hard financial hit, but luckily have been able to keep my doors open.

It has been a hard struggle, but I’d prefer that any day to losing loved ones’ lives.

Thank you for doing a difficult job to the best of your professional abilities!

Steve Andersen, Omaha

How numbers work

One of, if not the most irrelevant, facts in circulation following Mr. Trump’s loss is the fact he received the most votes ever by a sitting president. Of course if more people voted nationally, you should expect both candidates to receive more votes than seen in previous elections.

Since Nebraskans understand football, allow me to put this in football terms. I have a star running back. He runs for 350 yards and scores five touchdowns, setting a new school record. But the other team runs for 400 yards and scores six touchdowns. I don’t think anyone would try to say the young man who just set new school records should be declared to have won the game for his team.

Fred Hall, Lincoln

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