Letters: Walk a mile in a teacher’s shoes

Walk a mile in a teacher’s shoes

As the issue of reopening schools continues to be discussed, I want to ask that we step back and put the humanity back in the conversation.

I am a 30-year veteran teacher with a family of teachers, and six grandkids who are learning remotely. Remote learning is not perfect, but kids are learning, and it has been keeping us all safe. Teachers are humans too, and they have families of their own whose health is very important to them.

Teachers also worry about their students and their health and well-being 24 hours a day. Students, their families, and teachers have all been doing the best they can to survive during this unprecedented pandemic.

There are intricacies of schools that no one knows until you’re walking a mile in a teacher’s shoes. Many schools don’t have windows that open for ventilation. As a teacher, I know that in a regular year, custodians are stretched so thin that they can’t get to every classroom on a daily basis. I can’t imagine how they could possible cover all the extra cleaning and disinfecting that would be required. Our nurses also cover multiple schools.

Since availability of the vaccine is so close, why would any district or decision maker rush back before everyone is vaccinated? Anxiety will be much lower for teachers and their students if we wait.

Toni Cummings,


Why rush to re-open FW schools?

It’s been a long and exhausting year. My wife and I, both retired Federal Way teachers, have been homebound supervising our 9-year-old grandson’s “remote instruction model” online learning. Our son, deemed an essential worker, has been steadily employed outside our shared home this whole time. We have done what we can to keep our now fourth-grader on task and focused, and yes: Some days have been very hard.

Now, in the 11th month of this pandemic, vaccines are becoming available. We seniors have had dose number one and we have an appointment for dose number two coming up. Being a multi-generational family, we are concerned that our son has not been vaccinated and that nobody seems to even be talking about pediatric vaccinations. Very few of our still-working school employee friends have had the vaccine, either.

Yes, we get it, it is very hard having K-12 children at home doing online school. But Gov. Jay Inslee, OSPI Superintendent Chris Reykdal, and FWPS Superintendent Tammy Campbell: Why the pressing need to re-open school before all school employees get vaccinated?

Why should school employees and students be brought back into our schools until the vaccine is available to them? COVID rates are up in Federal Way. The more infectious British COVID variant is hitting children harder than earlier strains. The CDC is recommending double-masking.

We know many school ventilation systems are old. Why rush and risk lives? If we wait just a couple of more weeks, educators will be vaccinated, an important part of keeping our treasured, hardworking educators alive. As hard as remote learning is, I cannot imagine the grief and mourning if we lost our child’s teacher.

Michael McSweeney,

Browns Point

Make the Mirror great again

For years (58-year resident) I have loved reading the Mirror. I am old school and love to read a newspaper every day to get my news. But something has changed with the Mirror. When I talk to my friends and customers who come into my restaurant, they all tell me nobody reads the Mirror anymore, and I find that sad.

When I looked at this week’s paper (Feb. 12), I thought I would write you and tell you what others have told me.

Inside page at the top of the page is the police blotter. It never used to be on the inside page. Why has it been moved here? Our city has a nickname of Felony Way because of the shootings and recent crime, and I personally don’t feel this is a spot for this to be. I do like reading the reports, don’t get me wrong. Just don’t think it should be at the top of the inside page where a reader’s eye is drawn first.

Second, everyone is sick of columnist Bob Roegner’s feud with the mayor. We are all tired of almost every paper coming out with an attack, or bad mouthing Jim Ferrell. We all get it that Jim does stupid stuff sometimes. Quit beating a dead horse. Roegner is the last person who should be throwing stones at a glass house. You make a point to print he was the former mayor of Auburn with each of his stories. I have herd from many people in Auburn some of the things he did and they are not pretty.

Please get back to the paper we all loved — feel good stories about our community along with good reporting about our great city!

Jim Ross,

Federal Way (owner of Billy McHale’s)

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Letters to the Editor

Greg Baruso
Letter to the Editor: Support our schools and vote ‘yes’ on upcoming levies

The Educational Programs and Operations (EPO) Levy and Tech Levy are up for renewal Feb. 8, 2022.

Thoughts on taxing the rich | Letters

Thoughts on taxing the rich Tax the rich … and then everybody… Continue reading

Hooray for live entertainment; just say no to Poland | Letters

Hooray for live entertainment My husband and I have enjoyed live Broadway… Continue reading

Federal Way crime and cops; county’s homelessness program | Letters

City excelled in embracing county’s homelessness program I know there have been… Continue reading

Local student is ready for the real college experience | Letters

It was my hope that starting in the fall quarter would mean… Continue reading

Response to Roegner on school board candidate | Letters

Response to Roegner In response to Bob Roegner’s opinion on the King… Continue reading

Special tribute to former FWPS Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell | Letters

Personally, I was deeply saddened by her Dr. Campbell’s decision to step… Continue reading

Letters: Sexuality in schools; disappointed in rude people

Disappointed at rude people I was at the Neighborhood Connections meeting last… Continue reading

Letter writer misses the mark on Christian culture | Letters

Letter writer misses the mark on Christian culture My letter is in… Continue reading