July 9 2004

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico

Monroe Clark students working to stop violence

Do you want to stop the violence in City Heights? The Circle of Peace Club at Monroe Clark Middle School is working together to accomplish this goal! We found out that there were lots of problems in our school. We were amazed at what the statistics say about the violence in City Heights. One statistic that caught my attention was that the rate of violence and crime in City Heights is higher, three times higher than other areas of San Diego.

The Circle of Peace Club was founded by the Tariq Khamisa Foundation to stop the violence in our school. However, it soon went outside of campus. We started to notice the violence on the streets of City Hieghts. We decided to put a stop to it, and right away. We are willing to do anything that’s possible to help stop the violence.The percents are growing every day and our world is filling with hate.

The TKF Circle of Peace is very important to me because I want a world of peace. It’s an important subject because no one lives happy in a place that they know is violent. Also I want to have a school where I can feel safe.

The Peace Club is excited to announce an important event that will happen on Saturday, July 17, 2004.We are going to have a “March to Stop the Violence.” We would be delighted to have people from our community join us in our event.It will start at Monroe Clark Middle School at the back gate, at 10:00 A.M. and we will walk around University and Fairmount Ave. We will end in the park at Fairmount Ave.(by the public library).We look foward to seeing you there in our March. We hope you are there to help us make this happen.

Zeidy Ramirez
7th grade


Las Drogas: Un Serio Problema Entre Los Hispanos

El que los jóvenes comiencen a experimentar con las drogas a tan temprana edad no es nada sorprendente. Lo hacen porque lo único que saben de las drogas—cualquiera que sean—son los efectos positivos y lo bien que los van a hacer sentir. En ningún momento escuchan sobre los serios problemas de salud que el consumo de drogas puede ocasionar. Tampoco saben que las drogas pueden ocasionar la muerte.

No están solos. Desafortunadamente, muchos padres también desconocen el tipo de drogas que consumen sus hijos e ignoran sus efectos negativos. Tal es el caso del Éxtasis y otras llamadas drogas recreativas (Ketamina, GHB, Rohipnol, Metanfetamina y LSD) que en los últimos años se han vuelto bastante populares entre los jóvenes y los adultos.

Según un estudio a nivel nacional realizado en el 2001-2002, sólo un 1 por ciento de los padres considera que sus hijos usan el Éxtasis. No obstante, 3 millones de jóvenes ya han usado este estimulante.

No saben que el Éxtasis puede elevar la temperatura a tal grado que puede ocasionar la muerte. Tampoco saben que causa pérdida de la coordinación, mareos, depresión e insomnio. Tampoco están enterados de que el GHB, un depresor del sistema nervioso, causa mareos, nausea, vómito, perdida del conocimiento, coma e incluso la muerte.

También deberían saber que la Metanfetamina causa agresión, violencia, comportamiento sicótico, pérdida de la memoria y problemas neurológicos y cardíacos; que la Ketamina, un anestésico para caballos, causa vómitos, convulsiones, paranoia, y comportamiento agresivo y violento.

Deberían estar enterados que el Rohipnol es considerado como una droga utilizada para cometer asaltos sexuales y que causa extrema ansiedad, tensión, pérdida de identidad, alucinaciones, y paros al sistema cardiovascular. Deberían educarse sobre el hecho de que el LSD, un alucinógeno, genera estados alterados de la percepción, causa problemas mentales crónicos y eleva la temperatura, el ritmo cardíaco y la presión arterial.

Lo que es más perturbador es que la mayoría de los jóvenes y sus padres no saben que cuando estas drogas son mezcladas, los efectos pueden ser más devastadores.

Afortunadamente, en el centro y sur de San Diego se está llevando a cabo una campaña educativa cuyo objetivo es resaltar los efectos negativos sobre estas drogas y educar a los jóvenes y adultos que consumirlas puede ser fatal. Es gracias a la campaña “La verdad sobre las drogas recreativas” que se están realizando presentaciones en preparatorias, centros juveniles de rehabilitación y centros comunitarios.

Estudios han demostrado que cuando la percepción de peligro aumenta el consumo de estas drogas disminuye, un claro indicador de que campañas como ésta deben continuar.

José A. Álvarez


What should the School Board do about Bersin?

The revelation about Alan Bersin missing out on a high profile legal job in Hollywood that pays an “appealing 7 figure (1,000,000?) salary,” should reveal to the entire San Diego community that Bersin has lost interest in their children. And putting his house up for sale supports that view as well. The signs have been there for months as he turned more operational duties over to a newly-named and (better qualified) Deputy Superintendent and traveled here and there.

Of course, taking time off from his “real job” to interview and seek employment when his contract runs for another 24 months without telling the board seems both inappropriate behavior and indicative of his mind set.

In 1997, the board was urged by President Ron Ottinger to consider dumping San Diego Superintendent Bertha Pendleton for allegedly seeking another job with a Texas school district. That, of course, won’t happen under Ottinger this time, because of his personal connections with Bersin and because he has clearly lost interest in the district as well.

Bersin has a three-vote job security hold with his captive San Diego Board of Education. This gives him the license to travel around the country on an expense account to job hunt while still on the payroll!

The community and the San Diego School Board candidates need to consider what they want to do about this. Perhaps Bersin’s lack of interest in completing his contract should be considered by the newly elected board in November, and acted upon, rather than letting him coast to 2006 with nothing on his mind but getting another job!

John de Beck
Trustee
San Diego Board of Education


George Lopez’ TV mother portrayed negatively

While I appreciate that ABC includes shows that portray the life of other ethnic communities, and that ABC has chosen a great Hispanic commedian, George Lopez, I am disappointed with the show tonight. Tonight, as well as other times, George’s mother is portrayed negatively. The first reaction of Hispanic parents, at least those I know from my childhood in our community, would not have reacted the way George and his wife did. Instead they would have confronted the child for his disrespectful behaviour toward his grandmother, or to any person. Hopefully they would have also rejected the use of physical violence to discipline the child. The child in this show, as probably the writer wants to portray, follows the example of his father. George is extremelly disrespectful to his mother in too many shows, and that is not funny at all. My children and I would never tune to this show again.

I hope you consider improving the programs and have shows that do show Spanish values of respect to those older than us and nonviolent ways to deal with conflicts. Verbal violent is also as bad as the physical violence in family or community relations.

Frantz Santiago
via email

Letters to the Editor Return to the Frontpage