Ignoring obvious about gangs in school would be mistake
To the editor:
Regarding the June 28 article in The Herald-Mail about gangs, it would be a mistake to ignore the obvious.
Mr. Todd Dunkle (a "gang expert") admits students are identifying themselves as gang members — that they have been involved in bullying, theft, vandalism and criminal activity — yet he refuses to call them gangs. As the saying goes, "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck."
What, exactly, must occur for gangs to be acknowledged in our schools? The only activity not mentioned by Mr. Dunkle is someone dying. His statement that "several of the students involved were seniors, so they will not be returning to school in August" is mystifying. What precisely is his point — that schools will be safer with a few less gang members?
I question the effectiveness of a policy drafted by people who refuse to acknowledge the current gang situation in our schools. Calling these students "mischievous" harms our students, our schools and our community.
Jane B. Davis
When you give blood, you give life
To the editor:
In 2004, I was the victim of a near-fatal car crash that caused catastrophic injuries and 60 percent blood loss. My heart was ripped across my chest, I had collapsed lungs and pretty much every organ was damaged — including laceration of the liver, failure of the kidneys, and removal of my spleen and gallbladder. My ribs, pelvis and left clavicle were shattered. I was placed in a medically induced coma and required more than 36 blood transfusions and 13 plasma treatments. I underwent 14 lifesaving operations that brought me back to life eight times.
When I emerged from the coma two months later, I had no memory of the accident. I could see and hear, but not move or talk. Eventually, I relearned how to walk, then run and eventually swim. I am now a competitive triathlete and have completed the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii.
Since 2007, I have been a spokesperson for the American Red Cross, because my entire journey back to life began with the 36 blood donations I received after arriving at Shock Trauma. Amazing medical care and volunteer blood donors helped make my recovery possible, and over the years I've volunteered for, spoken on behalf of and raced in triathlons and marathons for the American Red Cross.
Five years after the accident, I celebrated with my friends and family by making my very first blood donation at the hospital that brought me back to life. The summer months are a very important time for blood donation because during that time the national blood supply usually experiences a shortage.
I represent the many blood recipients whose lives have been saved in part by blood donors. By giving just a little bit of their time, blood donors gave somebody like me a lifetime. This is the power of donating blood. You're not just giving blood, you're giving life — and there is no greater gift than that.
To stop gangs, take profit out of selling drugs
To the editor: