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Mailbag: Readers respond to 'School Flight' series

September 10, 2011

I found the article about flight from diversity in Mesa Verde schools to be interesting. I personally found that diversity in all areas — economic, religious, racial — as well as full inclusion for children with challenges to be beneficial to my children, who attended California Elementary, TeWinkle Intermediate and Estancia High schools. I have four grandchildren who graduated from Estancia. Three of the four have earned bachelor's degrees and one currently enrolled in a master's program.

Recently, a grandchild who lives in a neighboring school district had a tough time working through some bullying the first semester of eighth grade. These were peers that she was in scouting with during elementary school!

Her grades had dropped to Ds. After all appropriate steps were taken, and after no real solutions to her situation, it was suggested that she come to live with us and attend the second semester of eighth grade at TeWinkle.

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I want to tell you that the teachers, counselors and students at TeWinkle made this a wonderful experience for my granddaughter! The music director was wonderful, the science and math teachers took a great interest, the English and history teachers even showed a one-on-one interest. The office staff helped her get involved with the drama club and she was promoted in June with straight As!

You know, it really does "take a village." These students will be working with and/or for the very ethnic groups with whom they attend school! Why can't we applaud the diversity in this school district, start helping others to get involved by volunteering in the classroom or help raise funds to finance the projects that this unique "village" requires?

Patti Smith

Costa Mesa

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Five words on a 5,000-plus-word series

A breath of fresh air!

Tom Egan

Costa Mesa

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Abandon racial preferences

Whites are being lured back to Adams Elementary/TeWinkle Intermediate/Estancia High schools with promises that the English-proficient-fast-learner-selective-college-aspiring students will be taught differently and placed in separate classes. Won't this widen the achievement gap and foster segregation within the schools?

This is the burning civil rights issue of our time, we are constantly reminded. Has no one told these school administrators?

But Reicher's story ignores the new political reality in California. Mass migration has changed it from toss-up to deep blue, a one-party state, with Latinos central to the governing coalition.

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