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FORUM

Child abuse

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. The theme is "There's no excuse for child abuse."

Children are our future. Save a life! Report child abuse. Know the signs of child abuse. Call the Family Violence Center, they should be well prepared to give you printed information about documenting and how to report child abuse.

When you have educated yourself, then help to educate others.

If you have children, grandchildren or neighborhood children, share your knowledge about safe and unsafe touching. Encourage children "it's OK to tell." Help children understand the nature of child abuse, how to avoid becoming a victim and the importance of confiding in a trusted adult if they think they are being abused. Encourage young people to stand up for themselves and to help friends who may be abused.

Teach children, "your body is special and it is yours!" Teach or tell them the difference between good and bad touches, what to say if someone makes them feel upset with touches. Teach children who to confide in if they need help, how to get away from people who make them feel uncomfortable.

Let's all work together to help eliminate child abuse.

/s/ Betty Carlyle, Volunteer Coordinator, Mabton School District

Hispanics not

slow learners

In the Yakima Herald-Republic a recent article by the Associated Press, written by Jennifer Byrd and dated April 12, 2007, had the headline "Schools want reading and writing WASL's delayed." Is this article on its face, racism?

According to the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, a high percentage of students who have not passed the WASL are low income and speak English as a second language. This statement is being supported by Yakima School District Superintendent of Schools Ben Soria by his statement that poverty plays in how students perform.

In reference to the same article that states "Nearly three dozen school districts with large numbers of Hispanic students are asking lawmakers to delay the WASL reading and writing sections," this view is institutional racism being promoted by lawmakers and the educational system. This view also emphasizes the "attitude" toward the poor and Hispanic communities.

We need to stop blaming the poor and Hispanics because the state of Washington and its schools are not meeting the educational requirements. As a Hispanic and growing up poor, I take it very personal by reading this article that portrays that the poor and Hispanics are slow learners or unable to learn.

I am a graduate of the University of Washington, where I attended law school and business school, plus I am an author. I also have published my 145th story about the Hispanic pioneers in Yakima County. I feel through my research and writings I am living proof that being Hispanic and poor does not prevent one from learning.

/s/ Alonzo Marquez, Yakima

MS walk

On Saturday, April 14, we had the privilege of walking with approximately 46 loving and caring people participating in the National Multiple Sclerosis walk in Yakima. There were many other "teams" participating with a goal of raising a total of $2 million.

Because of the generous donations given by our family, friends, co-workers and Lower Valley businesses, approximately $8,000 was contributed to the MS walk in Amy's name.

Special thanks to Cargill of Granger for the barbecue, team shirts, for walking and for your generous donation.

Again, we thank you all for your generosity. We are blessed.

/s/ John and Michelle Gilroy, Grandview

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