As a teacher, I was shocked and offended by the February cover ("Unusual Suspects"). Though the problem of teachers having sex with their students is a valid issue, this cover belongs on a tabloid magazine rather than a professional magazine. It is offensive to the many hard-working, conscientious teachers in our schools. Teachers rarely get positive publicity these days. It would have been far better to feature "Unsung Heroines of the Public School System" on the cover.
Parkville Middle School
I have been a subscriber of your magazine since its premier issue. I am disgusted by your February cover to the point where I don't believe I will subscribe again. Nothing in your story or in the issue of sexual misconduct justifies such pathetic coverage.
Though I value the safety of my students as much as any other teacher, I must say that my reaction to your February cover story was less than enthusiastic. We know the problem exists—perhaps in "increasing" numbers, though I feel the numbers collected may be suspect. But please, does this deserve such major coverage? In a time when criticism of public educators runs rampant, and with so few of the many excellent teachers laboring throughout the country receiving their due credit, could you not find more deserving topics or issues to feature? Any "sex with students" case is a horrible tragedy. But we must remember that a publication like Teacher Magazine is viewed by many, not just our supporters. Let's concentrate on the job the "many" are doing, not the faults of the few.
Placing women teachers who are criminals on the cover is disheartening and sick. Just because some have violated the law doesn't mean they belong on your cover. The January cover was bad, too. The woman teacher playing an electric guitar had a demonic look; it caused stress just to look at it. Life is stressful enough. I don't need to get more of it from your cover.
We could use a lift up, not a push down.
Several of us have just finished the essay "Live And Learn" (February). We wish we had written it; Kirsten Olson Lanier hit the mark with her comments on "self-education." Bravo.
Re: "Show Me The Money" (February). When fund-raising organizations use schools and school groups to sell their products, what is the percentage of gross sales that the schools get? I am against such fund raising; schools are doing the work, but for slave wages.
Janet McDonald's book excerpt ("Educating Janet," January) was a heartwarming, enjoyable, and honest look at one person's journey through our education system. Unfortunately, while the article's last paragraphs describe an incident in which McDonald took an SAT test for her friend, she does not express any sense of guilt or remorse for cheating. According to the author's note, McDonald practices law in Paris. Would she approve of her fellow lawyer candidates cheating while they sat for the bar exam?
Woodland Hills, California
Vol. 10, Issue 6, Page 8Published in Print: March 1, 1999, as Letters