Letters

Gnome Grown

Waldorf wonders:I was so saddened to hear the writer portray Waldorf as if it were a cult ["School Spirit(s)," by Michael Serazio, February 5].

I am very intelligent and have searched high and low for the best educational system for my four-year-old child. I live in the prestigious Medical Center area, yet I drive all the way to Shining Star Kindergarten so my daughter will be allowed to create and express herself without the commercialism, high-tech, non-nurturing, non-self-expressive day cares and pre-Ks I have witnessed.

What my NASA engineer husband and I both said with our mouths dropping to the ground, "We wish we both had access to this kind of education when we were growing up."

My daughter was invited to join prestigious private schools. When I explained to the teacher that I wanted to keep her in Waldorf for another year, she exclaimed, "But she'll get too far behind." How does a child of three to six years of age get "far behind"?

I only wish the writer had access to a Waldorf school. Maybe he would have been able to portray the truth. I challenge all parents to research this incredible schooling. Houston should not be without a full K-12 system that will allow the nurturing and a caring place for children's minds and bodies to grow without fear and disgrace. May God help bring us peace and love to our precious children as they grow to be the kind of adults we wished we were.

Christine Bennett
Houston

Other choices:Thank you for your informative article about the Waldorf program. I have been searching for a (non-HISD) school for my son once he is old enough to attend.

I received Waldorf promotional information but had not had a chance to go to the school to check it out. Your information has saved me gas money and time. The program seemed a bit sketchy at first; now it seems downright crazy. I will look elsewhere to educate my son.

Cristina Graze
Houston

Persuasive pamphlets: How little you understood about our school. The information package you received contained brochures on the results of Waldorf education, yet your article doesn't reflect that awareness.

It feels insulting to me as a parent that you chose to make a satire out of our school. It is disappointing to see that you have allowed so much space for the criticism without giving the data that shows so much positive and powerful information. You have shown little insight and no ability to write a well-balanced article.

It is obvious that you approached this assignment with a preconceived notion.

After everything you've said, the least you should do is apologize to Ms. Dorothy Ogle and consider writing an objective article about Shining Star School and Waldorf education.

Daniela M. Trifan-Garcia
Sugar Land

Religious roots:I'm an accredited Waldorf teacher, and taught in several schools throughout Canada and the United States over a period of 12 years.

Given the philosophical foundation of Waldorf education is anthroposophy, and given that Rudolf Steiner stated at the beginning of his autobiography that "Anthroposophy in all its aspects is an investigation into Christ," it makes it difficult to argue -- as Miss Dorothy would cheerily have people believe -- that Waldorf is "not religious at all, no!"

Bruce Angus
Mace Bay, New Brunswick, Canada

Beware of the critics: While Mr. Serazio's article was quite balanced in its perspective, it is entirely possible that the Houston Pressmay receive letters to the editor attacking Rudolf Steiner, his philosophy known as "anthroposophy" or Waldorf education.

A handful of critics centered in San Francisco are inflaming a small group, People for Legal and Non-Sectarian Schools (PLANS), into conducting a defamation campaign using hate-group-like tactics.

I'm sorry that I have to write such a letter immediately after the publication of such an article -- no one would like to be informed that they might experience harassment. However, I thought that you and your staff at least ought to know of my concern, and I also wanted to offer to be of help if necessary.

We attempt to be a credible resource to publishers and Internet service providers, and we have specific material refuting the misquotations, outright lies and defamation which have been offered to unsuspecting publishers. Knowledgeable contacts include the Anthroposophical Society (www.anthroposophy.org) and the Council of Anthroposophical Organizations (www.spiritworking.org).

My hope is that you would include us in your fact-checking about allegations having to do with Steiner, Waldorf education or anthroposophy. Please don't let our critics put their words in your mouth.

Jean W. Yeager, administrative director
The Anthroposophical Society in America

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Honors abound: The Houston Press has done a disservice to parents in the Houston area by printing Michael Serazio's caricature of Waldorf education. Given the condition of public education in Houston, parents deserve better; for example, to know that Waldorf education was honored by the United Nations' Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or that Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express, is an enthusiastic Waldorf graduate, or that Nobel laureate Saul Bellow has stated, "If I had a child of school age, I would send him to a Waldorf school."

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