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Outraged by tabloidism in the pit bull story

Posted: October 12, 2008 5:56 p.m.
Updated: December 14, 2008 5:00 a.m.

I was outraged on many levels by the "tabloid" journalism The Signal used in its article on Tia Torres and her pit bulls visiting Valencia High School.

Evidently the term "racism" looks great in headlines and sells papers, but it was ill-used in this article.

To put Vince Ferry's name in the same paragraph as "racism" is ludicrous. You could not find a man more dedicated to treating everyone with love and respect.

He has been a beacon of tolerance at our school, showing compassion and understanding to everyone, but especially to our special education population.

Additionally, Tia Torres is offensive and stupid to compare peoples' feeling about pit bulls with "racism."
According to Webster's Dictionary, racism is "a doctrine of teaching, without scientific support, that claims to find racial differences in character, intelligence, etc., that asserts the superiority of one race over another or others and that seeks to maintain the supposed purity of a race or the races."

Last time I checked, dogs were grouped by "breeds," not races. Perhaps she needs to coin a new term "breedism" for her beloved pit bulls.

However, check the Web and you'll see scores of articles about pit bull attacks.

Even Torres agrees that their behavior can be unpredictable at best.

Regardless of the above, the bottom line is that the teacher at Valencia High School, who just started her fourth year of teaching here, did not follow protocol for having visitors/guests on campus.

Each year, at the beginning of the year, teachers are given a three-page sheet of instructions on how to conduct business at school.

Here is the part about guests: "All guests must be cleared with administration. THIS INCLUDES PEOPLE ONLY OBSERVING IN YOUR CLASSROOM.

"Forms for approval of guests are located in the ‘Forms' section of the mailboxes.

"If you are expecting a guest or parent to visit your classroom, you should let the switchboard know in advance. We have a closed campus and require that all guests must sign in at the reception desk in the main office."

"We will not send your guest to your classroom without prior authorization."

I would also like to add that if one would like to teach tolerance in the classroom, why not contact the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles for some appropriate teaching tools and materials?

Had the teacher followed these guidelines, perhaps this incident could have been avoided.


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