Education Letter to the Editor

Hurricane Coverage: Thoughts and Additions

September 20, 2005 1 min read

To the Editor:

Regarding the online article (“Refugee Louisiana Principal Seeks Ways to Help Victims,” Web Extra , Sept. 1, 2005):

Let us remember that the people displaced by Hurricane Katrina are evacuees, not refugees. As educators, we should, of all people, know the definitions of the words we use. These people were not fleeing political persecution or war, but fleeing a natural disaster. Furthermore, we psychologically distance ourselves from our fellow citizens when we place them in such a context.

Pamela Penn-Hicks

Kansas City, Kan.

To the Editor:

In response to the disaster resulting from Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, Tapped In, an online community for K-12 educators, has created a “hurricane central” room for reader postings on its Web site. Its purpose is to provide resources and opportunities for collaboration among affected schools and those schools wanting to contribute to the relief efforts.

Some of the areas explored include adopting a classroom or school; providing online classes or lesson plans for overcrowded classrooms and community resource centers; collecting data about the affected schools to assess the current situation and predict solutions; and establishing a lesson-plan bank that can be used by K-12 teachers for teaching hurricane preparedness, weather, and emotional support in a crisis situation.

We hope that readers will join the hurricane-central discussion and contribute what resources they can. Already, a few ideas have been placed in folders on the site.

B.J. Berquist

Associate Editor

Tapped In (www.tappedin.org)

New Bloomfield, Pa.

To the Editor:

In the days after the Hurricane Katrina evacuations, all eyes seemed to be focused on Texas, with particular interest paid to Houston and the efforts there to stabilize the lives of Louisiana’s displaced citizens. I hope the people of Texas realize that many citizens of Louisiana appreciate the hospitality of their state and its people.

Everyone seems to forget, however, that there are many cities in Louisiana that are filled to capacity with evacuees from the streets of New Orleans. I would like the people of this country to remember that Louisiana’s towns and cities are registering students for classes and providing all necessary supplies in an effort to return some semblance of normality to these students’ lives.

Gail Blouin

Gonzales, La.

A version of this article appeared in the September 21, 2005 edition of Education Week as Hurricane Coverage: Thoughts and Additions