Good vibes: Great picture -- I appreciate that this article whispers the artist struggle ["No Virgins, No Velvet," by Josh Harkinson, November 4]. It was a tough year for Ibsen to move out of his 20-year studio in the Heights and start over in the First Ward.
This article, and of course its author, brought a lot of positive karma to him. Thanks.
Breakfast of Champions
Brain food: I am a teacher at Jefferson Davis High School, and when the idea of Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) was broached by the administration, I admit I was skeptical -- until I saw it work ["Eating It Up," by Sarah Fenske, November 4]!
BIC provides more than just a cooler full of food.
It is a well-documented fact that the mind of a teenager is completely different from that of an adult, and as we all know, teens operate on a different clock. A breakfast -- starch, protein, juice and milk -- raises the blood sugar and provides a stimulus for a segment of the population who are not naturally morning people.
Perhaps the reference to breakfast tacos was not intentional, but 88 percent of our kids are Hispanic, so stereotyping our kids with a taco for breakfast reeks of racism.
If you came to my classroom, you would notice the varied menus and the responsible kids who return the cooler in a reasonable time and leave my classroom spotless.
The Houston Press continues to paint a negative picture of HISD, and while it is aimed at the administration, it ultimately hurts the kids, because that is the reason we are here.
I welcome the Houston Press into my classroom to report on the things Davis High School is doing well, instead of illustrating us as a banana republic.
Laughing all the way to the bank: If you listen closely, you can almost hear it: parents all around Houston laughing at the Houston Press.
They're laughing because the Press has decided that a six-year-old who doesn't eat every bite of his breakfast and finish his milk has committed fraud! What's next? Is a little girl who doesn't take a nap guilty of fraud, too?
This article is inaccurate and unfair and, most of all, downright silly.
HISD leads the nation with the Breakfast in the Classroom program, and while successful, it represents only 22 percent of the daily breakfast participation. HISD received $16.7 million in federal breakfast subsidies to reinvest to the benefit of the children of Houston -- and it is not due to the Breakfast in the Classroom program alone. The breakfast reimbursement is a result of total breakfast participation from all breakfast programs from all students, including both paid and reduced-price meals.
Our food-service operation has been a huge success since Aramark and HISD began its partnership. We have improved food quality, safety and achieved cost savings.
We stand firm in our belief that eating a nutritious breakfast each day helps improve student achievement, and we continue to be proud partners in enhancing the quality of life for the community.
Now I have to go. I think my little boy is running with scissors. More fraud!
Terry Abbott, HISD press secretary
A Callous Klein?
Cry for help: As a child in the Klein school district, I had depression and ADHD, and was abused at home ["KISD Off," by Margaret Downing, September 30]. Instead of offering help, KISD treated me like a discipline problem, even though my behaviors were textbook clues to my situation. I was repeatedly punished in school for events and behaviors beyond my control.
When the abuse at home was reported to a school counselor at the time, she did not follow the law and report it to CPS and the police -- even though she told me she had done so. When questioned later by CPS, she said it was because she thought she could work it out herself. Her behavior put my life at risk.
Kids in the Klein district don't fall through the cracks -- they're pushed. It appears that things have gotten only worse. I am an adult now, but I will never forget how horribly I was treated in those schools.
Miranda warning for KISD: As a parent of a student expelled from Klein school district, I would recommend that all KISD parents warn their children to: 1) Say nothing until parents are contacted; 2) Never sign any statements; and 3) Be aware that everything you say can and will be used against you. There is no such thing as confidentiality, even with counselors.
According to part of the Wise Up presentation at Strack Intermediate, KISD policy is to interrogate students before contacting parents, because they feel that a parent might advise a student not to say anything that might be incriminating.
Name withheld by request
Shucking Buckley: C'mon, you could have thought of a better comparison than your boring one of Back to the Future and the late Buckley ["Die, Jeff Buckley, Die!" by Rob Harvilla, November 4].
Obviously he had more than an incredible voice with lyrics of a poet if he had "enough heart-melting romance to separate normally levelheaded ladies from their undergarments, the same way you'd shuck an ear of corn." Most "zombies" can't do that. What contradiction!
It's been said that to find something or someone boring -- a word you use to refer to Buckley in your article -- often means that you are boring. Have you ever thought of putting a bullet in your head?
Closer than ever: I had to laugh at your article about Jeff Buckley. It appears that like most artists, he was a pretentious, wholly unmiraculous individual who, through hard work and the right production team, managed to have a few good studio days and cull from them an incredible album.
It's bad enough that we have to be disillusioned. Do they really expect us to pay for the privilege and like it? As it is, though, your article just endears Jeff to me more. Thanks for doing the dirty work so I don't have to.
Danger on the dial: Great Racket column [by John Nova Lomax, September 30]. Thanks for articulating what we all feel. It is indeed a dangerous place anywhere to the right of 92.0 on the FM dial. Which is a shame. All those frequencies, no place for us to go.
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