Letters to the Editor
Tuesday, September 2, 1997

People who read tabloids
have blood on their hands

Who really killed Diana? Much ink will be shed over the weeks and months ahead in the debate over responsibility for the death of the Princess of Wales.

But who are the real guilty parties? Are they merely the parasites with cameras who try to capture photos of famous people's private lives?

I believe there is another, equally responsible group of individuals. They are the ones who put up the money to entice the paparazzi to do their dirty work - not the publishers of the tabloids but those consumers who buy them.

Each time someone slaps down their couple of bucks to see photographs of people's most intimate moments or to read titillating gossip about events that are none of their business, they perpetuate the problem that has now robbed two boys of their mother.

Attention, all of you who buy those cheap publications: Three people just died to bring you your entertainment.

Ken Armstrong
(Via the Internet)

Hawaii women prisoners
in Texas miss their keiki

That was a very strong piece Diane Chang wrote about the plight of Hawaii women prisoners in Texas (Aug. 25, "Prisoner brutality isn't just physical").

My friend, Janice Cockett, is one of them. She has written to me about the whole degrading and frightening experience of being shackled and taken there under armed guard. She is a mother, too, and has had only telephone contact with her teen-age sons.

If you could see the scenes at the women's prison in Kailua during visiting hours, as I have, it would move you deeply. The children are so glad to see their mothers that they don't care if it's in a prison setting or not.

They cling to them, and when it's time to part, it is truly heart-wringing. They keep looking back and waving and smiling bravely at their mothers as they are herded out of the visiting area. It's almost as though the children are putting on a brave front to help their mothers do the same.

Thank you for giving this matter the prominent attention in your newspaper that should help in the long run. Maybe it will be the short run, if enough people care.

Dorothy Hazzard

Kamehameha does boast
great debate students

In response to Joe Gardewin's Aug. 13 letter to the editor, "Lindsey is simply trying to improve Kamehameha," the Hawaii Speech League assigns all participants coded numbers and, in the interest of fairness, instructs its judges at all contests to make no attempt to identify the students they are judging by name or by the school they represent.

Therefore, it is perhaps understandable that Gardewin's research did not uncover the fact that Kamehameha students did indeed participate in three of the four qualifying debate tournaments during the 1996-97 school year. In fact, three teams did well enough to win the right to compete in the state tournament.

However, I find it hard to understand how his research failed to uncover that the Kamehameha Schools' Speech and Debate Team won the 1997 State Championship, and qualified five students for the national tournament in Minnesota, more than any other school in Hawaii.

Moreover, if Gardewin had asked, he would have found out that the Kamehameha Secondary School regularly offers two different debate courses as part of its regular program: one in value debate and the other in policy debate.

Amy Kimura
Speech Department Head
Kamehameha Schools

Defense of Lindsey
recanted after call

Every now and then a person has to admit making a mistake. I was wrong in my Aug. 13 letter to the editor defending Bishop Estate trustee Lokelani Lindsey. At that time, I didn't realize how bad the situation at Kamehameha Schools actually was.

An individual with first-hand knowledge of the schools called to give me very detailed specifics of some of the good things that Kamehameha students have done. I stand corrected and would like to publicly acknowledge that, and to thank that person.

If students at Kamehameha fall short of what they might do, I am now convinced that it is most likely because of the oppressive atmosphere caused by invasive oversight and micro-management on the part of the trustees.

For example, a teacher cannot send a letter to a parent without approval from the trustees. As a teacher, I couldn't operate in an environment like that. If you cut off or restrict dialogue between parents and teachers in any form, you severely handicap the educational effort.

The other thing, obvious but worth pointing out, is this: If you want to stifle the creativity of students or teachers, look over their shoulders and don't give them any freedom to innovate or fail.

Academic freedom is so critical to growth, yet it appears in short supply at KS/BE.

J.M. Gardewin
(Via the Internet)

Bishop Estate Archive

Same-sex archive

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