SOU action was short-sighted

SOU action was short-sighted

The recent action of SOU administration officials to bar a young woman with Down Syndrome from auditing a ceramics course strikes me as being short-sighted on the part of SOU.

Unless the school is highly unusual in this regard, resources are used to recruit students of diverse backgrounds and ethnicity to campus and to make the campus accessible to people with physical disabilities. It's inspiring to see people work hard in spite of what we think of as their limitations. I have kids in college and can't think of a better example for them to really appreciate their abilities than for them to be in a class with a student such as Eliza, whose mother aids as her personal assistant at no cost to the school, and who wants only to have the opportunity to learn.

Our public educational institutions are there to provide instruction to those who seek it. Eliza paid her money, met the requirements to audit a course, asked no favors, quietly worked hard and was enjoying her educational experience. Why, after 13 uneventful class periods, was she suddenly denied her opportunity?

Kids today are used to attending class with peers of varying physical and mental abilities. Maybe the old chestnut is true — universities progress one retirement at a time.

Maureen Ash

River Falls, Wis.

Family thanks Search and Rescue

The Fullerton family would like to thank the Jackson County Sheriff's Office and Search and Rescue volunteers who recently located Brent Fullerton after he called 9-1-1 while hiking near Ashland. We are deeply grateful for their dedication to saving the lives of those who lose their way or get injured in the wilderness. The superb coordination and perseverance of the five teams of volunteers and deputies saved Brent's life.

The strategically placed emergency boxes along the local mountain trails is an integral aspect of Jackson County's rescue program. After tramping through the snow in the dark, Brent, wet and dangerously cold, arrived at one of these stations and was able to wrap himself in a hyperthermia blanket. The stations provide other life-saving supplies such as water, nonperishable food, outerwear and matches, which would allow him to make a fire to warm himself after extended exposure to the elements. It was at this point, around 10 p.m., that he saw headlights of the rescue vehicle and welcomed the compassionate staff who took him to the safety of his familiar surroundings.

We believe this story could have very well had a tragic ending without Jackson County's well-thought-out rescue program. Considering current budget cutbacks in county governments, their performance is especially remarkable. Again, sincere appreciation to the staff at the sheriff's office and all of the selfless volunteers who continue to give their free time and energy to help others. Brent and all other members of the Fullerton family will never forget their hard work, courage and humanity.

Nita Fullerton

Denver

Zaslow's comments ignorant, offensive

I found Rabbi Zaslow's comments about Christianity to be both ignorant and offensive. To call the Apostle Paul just a slick marketing guy is prejudice of the worst order.

The fact is that Christians and Jews will never blend together because the Jews do not accept Jesus as the Messiah, do not believe that he was the son of God, and do not believe he rose from the grave in complete victory over sin and death. I seriously question Rabbi Zaslow's own spiritual path. His one-size-fits-all quest for religion is more consistent with worshiping John Lennon.

Rev. P.K. Hallinan

Ashland