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Voice: Woeten is a fine teacher, was merely expressing concern

February 28, 2002

I cannot believe all the furor over Mr. Ed Woeten's letter! The righteous indignation expressed by so many people gives credence to the fact that people will always take things the wrong way.

Mr. Woeten, an excellent and well-liked teacher, was merely venting his frustration at "drug babies." He was not condemning all children with learning disabilities or physical handicaps.

According to one of my nieces who attended his classes, Mr. Woeten "loves to teach." Can you imagine his frustration at being unable to teach those poor children who inherited the terrible consequences of their parents' or parent's criminal indulgence?

For heaven's sake, get real. He was not speaking to those of you unfortunates whose children have, through no fault of yours or theirs, inherited learning disabilities.

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Mr. Woeten was venting his feeling, and I thoroughly agree with him. There is so much sorrow and frustration in being unable to nurture young minds, and more so when you know that their handicaps could have been avoided.

I feel compassion for those people with children in this situation, but at the same time I wonder why the "shoe fits so well." We have someone in our family with problems, and we never for a minute thought Mr. Woeten was taking a shot at us.

Carry on, Mr. Woeten. My nieces and nephews were all the better for having encountered you. I met you a couple of times, and though you would probably not remember me, I recall some degree of envy that it was the kids and not myself who would benefit from your sophistication and knowledge.

The parents who wrote in condemnation of your letter need to reread your words, instead of taking offense and lashing out at you. Perhaps they could help educate their children to assure that no other teacher has to share your experiences.

Thank you, Mr. Woeten, for sharing your knowledge with my family. We appreciate you and are sure that many other of your ex-students share our feelings.

M.P. VALDIVIA

Brawley

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