Las Vegas Sun

April 22, 2018

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Letter to the editor:

Nevadans should be substitute teachers for a day

How can anyone in this state prefer to protect the profits of mining companies, casinos and Wal-Mart over a better Nevada? We all benefit from educated citizens. They make better employees and provide better service, they are less of a burden on society and they commit fewer crimes.

How can we continue to bow to the tyranny of the vocal minority? The only explanation is that most people do not realize what is going on.

During the school year, how many children spend more time with their teacher than they do with either of their parents? How many kids go home to empty houses because their parent or parents are working swing shifts?

Each year we increase some of the largest class sizes in the nation. Our society continues to marginalize positive adult role models for children and instead turns them over to hundreds of television stations, the Internet and video games. The same people who cry that parents should be responsible for their children are the first to claim it is the schools that are failing.

We need to pass a law to require every citizen of Nevada to serve one day a year as a substitute teacher, similar to how we require jury duty service. Every Nevadan should have to experience what it feels like to try to teach 40 children — the hope that comes from getting through to a student and the despair of seeing others slip through the cracks that continue to grow from some of the worst funding in the nation.

Then people could look those children in the eye and tell them to their faces that they don’t care — instead of hiding behind ignorance and rants about what should be done, when they have no idea what it’s like to be alone in a room with 40 children.

The writer is a teacher in the Clark County School District.

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