Pubdate: Sat, 03 Jan 2009
Source: Garden Island (Lihue, HI)
Copyright: 2009 Kauai Publishing Co.
Author: Diane Gray


I applaud Jeff Knope for his letter about teachers and his rebuttal to
Howard Tolbe's previous letter ("Love, not pay, draws teachers,"
Letters, Dec. 31).

I am a teacher, and I was deeply insulted by the letter written
suggesting teachers pay for their own drug testing and that we are in
a "high paying profession." He is obviously misinformed.

I received my bachelor's degree with honors, went on to earn my
teaching credential and then a master's degree. Most of my colleagues
have done the same.

We work for low pay in a job that is extremely demanding and taxing
(the job doesn't end at 5 p.m.). I work countless hours, spend my own
money on supplies, and spend much of my time disciplining students
when I should be using that time for teaching.

I do indeed love my seventh-graders, and I work hard to teach them the
standards of education and to help mold them as individuals who can
think critically and believe in themselves.

Teachers are often underappreciated in our culture, while they are
objects of respect and honor in other cultures. It does indeed add
insult to injury to suggest that we are drug tested.

In my opinion, drug testing is only warranted if an individual is
under suspicion or has been cited for an indiscretion of some sort.
Otherwise, it has no place in this profession, and that is the key
word - profession.

Most teachers are extremely educated individuals who have spent years
preparing for this profession, and we should be treated as the
professionals that we are.

How about drug testing the parents of some disrespectful and
unmotivated students instead of placing the burden on hard-working
individuals who really do care and show it every day?

Teachers are entitled to respect and should be regarded as
professionals, not criminals.

Diane Gray

San Diego, Calif.
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