AS A FORMER instructor at the Ivy Leaf Middle School, I am saddened but not surprised, by the announcement of its closing.

The early years of the school's existence were delightful. The entire school population enjoyed the fine professionalism of the school's atmosphere, the high motivation of all those associated with the school and the high morale that was conducive to successful learning.

When the principal was replaced around 1999, seasoned instructors noted the beginning of a downward spiral at the once finely-operated middle school. Substandard values deteriorated morale and proper disciplinary measures, along with the fair and impartial grading systems that were compromised or not applied correctly and fairly in the ratings of students and teachers.

As Abraham Lincoln stated in 1858, "With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed."

Bianca Weltague

Philadelphia

What if they were white?

I am a black male. I have worked in the prison and courts systems and I am presently employed in the school district as a teacher. I am a college graduate with advanced degrees, and my four children also have college degrees.

I am thankful that neither I nor my children have police records. As a law-abiding citizen, I hope the killers of Officer Liczbinski are punished for their crimes. I have family members and many friends who are police officers.

However, I don't think there is any justification for police brutalizing suspects. I wonder if supporters of such actions, like letter writer Megan DiPrimeo, would feel the same if the suspects weren't black males.

I respect and support the majority of our men in blue who are professionals doing a dangerous job.

God bless them.

Ernest Solomon

Philadelphia

'Protected' classes

The "Scout Badge of Dishonor" editorial of June 2 is just another one-sided opinion being shoved down the throats of people who may disagree with the homosexual lifestyle.

This is also about controlling and stifling the thoughts of those who may disagree. The Boy Scouts are the pawn, used by the government, to achieve this. Do you really think this is about the money?

As Americans, we used to be able to disagree with each other. Now, with the creation of governmental protected classes, if you disagree with one of the protected classes, you are sure to be labeled an "Anti."

Homosexuals are human like everyone else, and entitled to equal protections under the law as stated in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But just because opinions differ on this homosexual issue does not disqualify heterosexuals from debate or from the same equal protections.

However, because we have such weak-minded elected officials who whore themselves out, catering to and bowing before these protected classes, they deliberately set up a caste system in this country, just for the votes.

America is no longer a melting pot of nationalities, assimilating as one. America is now a nation of protected classes, where disagreement is met with disdain and condemnation instead of debate.

Timothy Dowling

Philadelphia