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[Susan notes: It is good to have someone speak to our common, cummunity needs. We get too much us vs. them news.]

Published in Commercial Appeal

To the editor

This community has more than enough animosity, racism, classism and other projected anxieties. Your coverage of our city and county school districts reinforces these irrational fears and prejudices. One way you repeatedly undermine thoughtful dialog was demonstrated in your Aug. 24 article, ''School standards bend; 33 leave state's 'troubled' list despite math, reading shortfall."

Take an issue that applies to schools in both districts (in this case, the changing of the standards), focus on how it is evident in one district (city), and then if you do mention that it affects the county, that reference is buried several paragraphs into the article. The impression is clear: City schools are bad and county schools are good.

The reality is that schools in both districts are performing below level. You need to be part of the solution, not a co-conspirator in creating a climate of prejudice and fear. The region's future hinges on the entire community seeing all our children as ours, not us vs. them. Help foster this vision, instead of pushing us into opposing camps.

Connie Diamond

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