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Opinion

In the Aug. 23 issue, Peter Gallanter responded to several previously published letters by teachers. While there are inaccuracies in his letter that demand correction, I choose to focus on two points.

Mr. Gallanter expressed outrage that teachers would dare to share their concern that we might, for the first time in Port Washington's history, begin the school year without a contract. I would suggest that it is our civic responsibility to make the public aware of the concerns of the professionals who teach their children and who work so hard to improve education in our schools. We teach our students that freedom of speech and freedom of the press are precious rights. It is appropriate that my colleagues and I (and yes, even Mr. Gallanter) exercise these rights responsibly.

Mr. Gallanter states that it is "irrelevant" if people feel devalued. Unlike Mr. Gallanter, I am deeply sympathetic to anyone who feels devalued or unappreciated. I have devoted my life to protecting children from the devastating effects of such feelings. I am deeply concerned if anyone feels less than valued and respected. Insensitivity to this threatens the health and stability of society. A community that doesn't respond to it is a community at-risk. Port Washington has always been a special place. We unite in celebrating the success of our schools. We work together to overcome challenges. We have a shared interest in making our schools and our community work.

A short while ago, Port Washington made headlines for its heartfelt support of one local restaurateur. It is my hope that the good people of Port Washington will demonstrate that same heartfelt support for the more than 450 dedicated teachers who selflessly serve this community and its children.

Christine Vasilev


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