Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Sept. 5, 2007

Show police some respect

I am an employee of an elementary school here in Federal Way.

With another school year starting, I can once again look forward to the new year with confidence knowing that the children who attend our school will be taught by the best, be led by a strong principal, and above all, will be heard and respected.

It is part of our overall motto that all will be respected, child to child, child to adult, adult to child and adult to adult.

The overall school environment is family, and that is because we are all respected.

Unfortunately, not all families teach that value. I recently was dismayed and shocked by a recent incident in my own small neighborhood where two alleged college-educated middle class adults, husband and wife, were approached by two Federal Way police officers over a neighborhood dispute.

The details of the incident are irrelevant, but what is not is that two officers stood on the doorstep of these supposed intelligent people and had to listen as they both raised their voices, dictated what to do, told the officers what to do, told them they paid their salary, threw indiscreet threats by name-dropping, and basically shut the door in their faces.

In a nutshell, neither had any respect for these two human beings who put their lives on the line and have dedicated their lives to keeping our community safe. What appalled me most was that these two adults did this in front of their four children, elementary to high school age, and those of friends they had over to their home.

What have these parents taught their children? What lesson did they teach tonight? What type of adults will these children grow up to be and what conflicted messages are they getting at home and at school?

It is obvious that in that family, the word respect has no meaning, and it makes me sad. Sad for the children who live in homes where there is no respect for each other, for the family members who live there and for the other adults and children these children encounter along the way.

I thank the parents, students and colleagues of my “other” family for their respect and support, and I thank the Federal Way Police Department for your support as well.

I hope by writing this that you will earn much more of the respect you all deserve and are due.

Monica Herlocker, Federal Way

Let’s teach compassion

I was dismayed to read Ms. Hohisel’s indictment of panhandling in Federal Way (letters to the editor, Aug. 25), imbued as it was with her abiding sense of self-righteous indignation.

Whether or not one believes that these “panhandlers” are, indeed, homeless or, as implied by Ms. Hohisel, simply looking for a handout, the fact remains that real poverty exists, and exists right here in Federal Way.

I find it interesting that those who denigrate the poor, who attempt to exacerbate their misfortune by telling them to “get a job” (thank you for solving this epic problem, by the way) are often those most complicit in perpetuating the inequality between the haves and the have-nots.

I note, by way of illustration, Ms. Hohisel’s encounter at Wal-Mart. Since she is so concerned about other people going from rags to riches in the “ol’ USA,” she may want to consider giving her business to an organization that doesn’t fight every minimum wage increase tooth and nail, and which doesn’t rely on taxpayer money to supplement their employees’ health care benefits.

While I commend her on succeeding in raising two children while working as a single mother, I would hope that your readers acknowledge the desperation of our community’s poor, and work for solutions other than blithely telling people to work. I submit to you that, if given a meaningful choice, these panhandlers would not elect to live their lives on pocket change and angry advice.

How can Ms. Hohisel question another’s pride when her letter screams of shameless condecension? We, as a society, should make it a priority to teach or children compassion, lest one day any of us be denied assistance if we find ourselves without a job, a paycheck, or a home.

M. Malaier, Tacoma

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