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Probe: October 19, 2001

October 19, 2001

QUESTION: This is my second letter to you but I have not seen it in the paper. This is about my children's treatment at Harding Elementary School in El Centro.

In reading camp last summer, two kids hit my 6-year-old son because they said he is black. He is not black; he is Hispanic. I talked to the principal. She talked to one of the kids but didn't punish him.

My son became afraid and cried for many nights because "I am black and people hate me." I comforted him the best I could.

Today two fifth-grade girls attacked my third-grade daughter in the girls bathroom because they claimed she is black.

After school I talked to Mr. (Juan) Cruz, the new principal, but he didn't pay attention because he had to go to a meeting. Mr. Cruz told me to talk to his secretary to make an appointment and he and I could talk and "cut this cake in pieces." What cake?

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Children need peace and solidarity, not hitting and ugly words. Children learn from their parents. The parents should teach good moral behavior and good manners! — Angry Mom, El Centro

Although your English can take some wild flights, we were able to decipher your meaning from your letter. We were as curious as you about the cake.

"What did you mean by cutting the cake in pieces?" we asked Cruz.

"What cake?" he asked.

But you got through to him in your meeting Thursday.

He said the fifth-grade girls will be disciplined.

More than that, the school counselor will spend 30 minutes in each Harding classroom talking about diversity and appreciating the differences among us.

If this works, school will be a happier place for many kids. And you, and Mr. Cruz, should each get a rose for making your little corner of the world a better place.

LUMP OF A DOG — Shame on the irresponsible lout who left a big lump of a dog on our country property. We already have all the dogs we want. We do not need unwanted cast-offs.

Your unconscionable act caused heartbreak in our home. The dog tore up my flower beds, scattered trash and chewed up everything he could reach. Most importantly, he tore up my American flag. My father, now deceased, gave me the flag and it was irreplaceable. Many tears were shed over this loss. — Heartbroken, rural Imperial County

How sad it must be to be an unwanted cast-off dog. All dogs start out as adorable puppies. Somehow, we must solve the problem of surplus pets.

We have an idea. Why not charge a whopping tax on unneutered pets? Make it more expensive to own a fertile cat or dog than to have it altered.

WEATHER FORECAST — The seagulls came through about a week ago but it didn't get much cooler. Today I saw a flight of wild geese. It's early for geese. They usually don't arrive until the end of November. When you see geese, it means a cold front is headed this way. These were speckled belly geese. I got a good look at them because they landed in my field. — Country Weatherman, Seeley

You're telling us that when the geese fly in, it's time to dig out the coats and blankets. We knew that just by looking at the calendar. The kids usually need a sweater for Halloween.

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