Young and Homeless
Young and Homeless
Online readers comment on "Children of God," by Margaret Downing, December 22:
The power of teachers: This story brought tears to my eyes. I went to ten different schools and had a single mother who worked three jobs to take care of me and my siblings. I honestly feel like I would not have graduated had it not been for my teachers caring more than they are required to. To have someone believe in you, more than you believe in yourself, is a powerful thing. Kudos to Grissom and their staff; they are angels on Earth.
Do something: At least these people care and are willing to do something about it. Sometimes the children are not so lucky; someone will just call CPS and turn the family in. Then the kids get taken away (or threatened with it, anyway) and put in foster care, causing a whole other set of problems.
Perspective: This is real, this is what matters.
How to help? This was a well-written and touching story. I commend the faculty and staff at Grissom for doing so much, especially considering they are doing it on teachers' salaries. I would like to know if there is an avenue for the public to send support to Grissom.
Editors note: Offers of assistance for the children at Grissom Elementary should be directed to Principal Cynthia Smith at 713-434-5662.
The Texans Question
Online readers respond to "Houston Texans — My Question to Bob McNair," Hair Balls blog, by Sean Pendergast, December 21:
Something different, please: The undermining of the Texans began with the belief that they could field a largely inexperienced secondary and still win, thus making Dunta Robinson expendable and allowing him to escape Houston via free agency. To make matters worse, all it took was the Cowboys game to show the rest of the league that the Texans could be bullied, that they would not meet physicality with a heavy dose of their own.
I don't know anything about Kubiak's demeanor in practice; he may be a butt-kicker. But I also know from experience that any organization takes on the character of its leader. So, the odds are that "Kubs" is too soft-spoken and not given to in-your-face confrontations with slackers, which is too bad, because the Texans need someone/something very different.
Hindsight 20/20: Everybody thought Dunta was an overpaid, egotistical, maybe-above-average cornerback that didn't deserve top five NFL money. Now our secondary is terrible, and everyone says we shouldn't have let Dunta go. Armchair GMs everywhere.
Good news: Bob doesn't appear to be a meddling owner, like Jerry Jones.
Bad news: He is cheaper than Dr. John McMullen, which will be cemented if he doesn't buy out Kubiak at the end of the year.
Worse news: His apparent complete lack of competitive desire.
Bob's off-season and regular-season moves made Drayton look like George Steinbrenner, from Dante to Schobel, to the tailgate-charging money scheme. Yet Bob is just now being called out for it. Where was the rage to start the year?
Oh well, dimwit Bob appears to have used up his endless supply of goodwill in the span of four weeks. Good. Maybe it will light a fire under his ass to make some changes to his bland, uninspiring, banal, nondescript piece-of-crap franchise.
Seats will empty: He's blinded by his adherence to personal relationships — he wants in his heart for Kubiak and his co-workers to succeed and doesn't want the hurt of firing any of them. I respect that to a degree, but McNair just hasn't learned how quickly seats can become empty. He's in a profitable buffer zone right now that allows him to be overly patient, but once it's gone, he'll chop a couple years off his timeline for success.
Outed by a Teacher
Online readers respond to "Lesbian Teen Sues Kilgore School District for Outing, Harassing Her," Hair Balls blog, by Paul Knight, December 22:
No common sense: As a teacher, I know that questioning a student about their private relationships is wrong. I do not have the credentials that Newell has, although I am certified to teach in the state of Texas. My question is, with all those credentials, where is this woman's common sense? If these accusations are true, then I hope that Newell is reprimanded and sanctioned accordingly. Our jobs as teachers are to make sure that our students feel safe and secure in school and don't fear being singled out for any reason.
Fire her: Becky, I would agree with you except for your statement that Newell should be "reprimanded and sanctioned," unless by that you mean fired and never allowed to teach in Texas or any other state again. She sounds like a bully of the first degree and a vengeful person.
Another point: What people are failing to catch on to here is that if all this young girl alleges is true, not only is her girlfriend a statutory rapist, so is (potentially) the coach. This alleged relationship between the coach and the other girl should be investigated to see if she broke any laws. It doesn't matter what positions or credentials she holds; if she's a statutory rapist, what makes her any better than Jennifer Lea Burton or any other woman in Texas who had sex with a child? Burton is in prison for the next ten years, and if Newell had sex with the girl before she was 18, so should she also be.
Could be worse: I was born and raised in East Texas. It's a brutal, Christian, conservative armpit. I refuse to even visit that area anymore. She is lucky she wasn't beaten, bullied or worse.
Sue the school: I hope this school gets sued for millions of dollars. As soon as they start having to cough up money for these disgusting "antics," they will start to learn to get out of someone's personal love or sex life.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.