Letters to the editor — Jan. 6, 2021

  • Wednesday, January 6, 2021 1:30am
  • Opinion

Troubling actions from Sequim school leaders

With some 32 years in education and 26 as principal or site administrator from Wisconsin to Alaska, I read the Sequim Gazette article regarding Sequim High School principal (“District reinstates SHS principal to position,” Dec. 30, page A-1) with amused amazement.

First off, trust — or what used to be called morale — begins at the top of the chain of command, school board, superintendent, principal, teachers and kids. To zero-in on the principal and ignore the school board is troubling. Trust is passed down.

Second, I see the power of the board being shifted to the district’s human resources (HR) director. If you keep that person happy, you have a job. It’s common knowledge that some staffers hang around HR for protection and administrators cannot get rid of them. They will usually take out an administrator, quickly and easily. Also, popular administrators with students in general incur the wrath and/or “jealousy” of threatened staff.

Third, I’d like to address the issue of trust in schools from my perspective. Trust always flows down. Trust was always better last year. That is a truism about trust. When people don’t like your actions, they threaten you with “low trust or trust issues.” Finally, trust can only be viewed in retrospect since it is impossible to know what it will be tomorrow.

I know nothing of the current school situation except what I read in the paper, so this is my perspective from years of experience. Hopefully the board will be forthright with information.

Cliff Schadler


Phobia or philia

Occasionally, I almost wish that I were a Democrat. Like, life would be so much easier if I didn’t have to develop a logical argument in favor of some Democrat talking point, but rather blithely dismiss the entire Republican agenda with a denigrating word or two as applied to President Trump.

The latest derogatory word is “phobia” – defined as “an extreme or irrational aversion to something” – and which my Democrat friends can use almost at will in nearly any situation with virtually no thought on their part.

For instance, if one wishes to demean President Trump’s decision to protect America from the coronavirus epidemic by banning flights from China, he can be castigated as xenophobic (washingtonexaminer.com). But oddly enough, other heads of state imposing similar bans escape this “phobic” denunciation (thinkglobalhealtho.org).

And his support of Israel’s right to exist and to defend herself against attacks by her neighbors brands him as Islamophobic (medium.com). The Israelis, however, have no such complaint, and in fact roundly support this particular phobia (al-monitor.com).

Should he question the premise that athletes that were born men but are permitted to compete as women – regardless of the inherent biological advantage that these transgender people have – he becomes transphobic (msmagazine.com). Of course, there are those athletes — both men and women — who applaud his stance on this particular phobia citing the need for a “level playing field” (nytimes.com, inquirer.com, apnews.com).

The dictionary reflects that the opposite of “phobic” is “philia,” and so I guess that one fella’s phobia is another fella’s philia.

Dick Piling

Port Angeles

Opioid treatment stats are underwhelming

Why are we so willing to spend so much with such poor results that will profit so few?

An effective cure for opioid addiction is not available. Claims of a 75 percent cure rate have been promised by the proponents of the new regional facility under construction here in Sequim. No time interval after completing the treatment has been given with this promise.

A study by the National Institutes of Health with 600 patients found that one year after completing treatment less than 10 percent of the patients remained drug-free! (www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/painkiller-abuse-treated-sustained-buprenorphine-naloxone).

Let that soak in for a minute. For every 100 patients, 90 of them a year later were not cured!

The tremendous funds generated in the course of their treatment were pocketed by the staff and facility with such meager results. Perhaps the huge profits generated explain the enthusiasm by the proponents for such a facility in Sequim.

An unanswered question remains as to where the patients in that group of 90 percent, who may be indigent and homeless, go after their treatment is finished? How do they generate funds to continue their habit? How many robberies and assaults will be a result of their needs?

Why is decreased public safety in itself not enough of an issue to terminate the construction of a regional clinic in Sequim?

John Mackay


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Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
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