Regarding Noozhawk’s Sept. 9 article, “Santa Barbara School District Approves Controversial Teen Talk Sex Education Curriculum,” it never ceases to amaze me what people who are opposed to a comprehensive sex education program unintentionally reveal about themselves in doing so.

First, when Kathy Ireland speaks to her high school experience in sex education, she is a woman who wrote in her book, Powerful Inspiration: Eight Lessons that Will Change Your Life, that at age 17 she thought she could walk from the beaches of Long Island back to California because she didn’t pay attention during geography lessons. And we’re accepting her opinion on her sex education experience 40-plus years later?

Is Ireland also unaware that teens engage in sexual activity, and if a young woman gets pregnant, she has control over her body and reproductive rights, not her parents?

Ireland’s comments about sex education and its inherent violation of religious tenets is why she enrolled her children in a private religious school. Why are her religious beliefs relevant in a public school system?

And when she adds that the curriculum violates science, once again, I refer to her book where she states what an amazing thing it was that God chose a woman to give birth to His son, Jesus … as opposed to what? A camel? Science was obviously another difficult subject.

Lastly, do people who so vociferously object to sex education have sex? Do they enjoy it? Or are they ashamed and/or embarrassed about it, and the rest of us have to suffer as a result? I, for one, am sick and tired of people who disavow their sexuality and the sexuality of others because they can’t accept it without shame or sin.

The Santa Barbara Unified School District school board did the right thing because their responsibility is to educate, not condemn. I feel sorry for Ireland and others who oppose this curriculum. I can only imagine what they’ve missed out on as a result.

Maggie Light

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Why should anyone care what a “world-famous 1990s supermodel” thinks about sex education? What expertise does she add to the discussion? We’re supposed to take her opinions seriously just because she used to be a celebrity?

Kathy Ireland and other religious zealots like her really shouldn’t open their mouths and expose their ignorance. Best to leave sex education to the adults who know what they’re talking about.

Thank you to the Santa Barbara Unified School District board for approving Teen Talk.

Kelley Smith
Santa Barbara

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In his Sept. 4 column, Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen identifies the two dogs that attacked the neighbor as American Staffordshire Terriers, which are otherwise known as pit bulls.

Pit bulls are a bad breed. Even though they only make up 6 percent of all dogs, they are responsible for most dog bites and 80 percent of dog attack deaths. Every pit bull owner describes their dog as “docile,” even after they attack a human or other dog.

The story here is that the dogs should be put down and banned from Santa Barbara!

Kevin O’Connor
Santa Barbara

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I get Noozhawk twice a day and thoroughly enjoy the accurate and broad local coverage. However, I wanted to voice that I was saddened that the coverage of 9/11 remembrance ceremonies, “‘We Will Never Forget’: 9/11 Remembrance Ceremonies Planned Around Santa Barbara County,” was so far down in the reporting the morning of Sept. 11.

I am very disappointed how so many people have forgotten what happened to our country on that day.

Debby Deneault
Santa Barbara

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Ray Ford has it just right in his Sept. 11 column, “Reflecting on the Road to Shanksville on Sept. 11 Anniversary.”

The Shanksville Memorial is a remarkable site that is worth a visit if you can. My wife, Sandi, and I were deeply moved on our visit a few months ago.

Frank Hotchkiss
Savannah, Georgia

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Noozhawk, you lost a potential subscriber due to your censoring. Sad but obvious.

Kevin Dowhower

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Is Noozhawk aware that masks are now optional? See page 27 of the California COVID-19 Employer Playbook:

“Workers should avoid approaching coworkers or members of the public who are not wearing a face covering for the purpose of attempting to enforce any facecovering recommendation or requirement.”

This should be given wide publicity!

John Huckle
Santa Barbara

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The mission of the Coalition for Neighborhood Schools is to provide neighborhood elementary school facilities in the downtown area of Santa Barbara.

For generations, prior to shortsighted and disastrous decisions by the Santa Barbara Unified School District board in the 1970s, the area between the 600 (Cota Street) and 2100 blocks (Padre Street) of State Street, and those residential neighborhoods to the east and west, were home to three elementary schools: Lincoln, Wilson and Garfield.

Lincoln School served the downtown area for more than 100 years. The historic school site is the current location of the Saturday farmer’s market at East Cota and Santa Barbara streets, where a new police station is being considered. The land is owned by the City of Santa Barbara.

Wilson School, at the corner of Castillo and West Anapamu streets, is currently the Westside Community Center, also owned by the city.

Garfield School is currently the Schott Center School for Extended Learning, owned by Santa Barbara City College.

While closing and selling off school sites must have seemed to be the “right thing to do at the time” (to the school board), the effects of that drastic divestment of school facilities is still being felt throughout the community.

The closure of those three schools was fought vigorously by the community, particularly by the three “downtown” school communities. I still occasionally meet someone my age or older who attended or taught at those schools. If you are one of those alums or retired teachers, we’d sure like to hear from you! I know there are many from my graduating class of Santa Barbara High School.

Neighborhood schools create a number of significant community benefits. They promote healthy activities because students can walk to school rather than being forced to ride in cars. They promote community because students remain close to home, parents are more easily able to monitor their activities, and parents are more likely to interact and associate with other parents in the same neighborhood.

In a downtown area, neighborhood schools result in stable property values, and promote downtown residential property ownership. Such schools also promote diversity and inclusion, as students interact with other students from different cultures.

The Coalition for Neighborhood Schools is hosting a Zoom candidates forum for Santa Barbara Unified School District board candidates at 7 p.m. Sept. 17. Email for more information.

Alice Post
Santa Barbara

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Why do I support Elrawd MacLearn as trustee for Santa Barbara Unified School District?

Elrawd comes to us from a large family with 11 children. As the third eldest, he home schooled his younger siblings and watched their academics improve. He participated in student government while in college and earned a biology degree from UCLA. I met him when he came to work at Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services.

As a young professional, Elrawd follows the SBUSD meetings, addressing the school board about proposed curricula. During the meetings that I attended, the board rarely listened to parents and concerned citizens. Instead, the current board has voted in favor of special interest groups and activist student speakers.

In contrast, Elrawd promotes a return to basics for education, redirecting divisive ethnic studies in favor of strengthening the moral character of the individual. He will restore curricula that advance critical thinking, computation skills, literacy and Western civilization, while increasing transparency and parental involvement.

Elrawd reviewed the dramatic student success of Franklin School and would like to implement the model of Principal Casie Killgore to other schools in the district.

Join me and elect Elrawd for the Santa Barbara Unified School District board!

Lisa Sloan

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September has always meant back-to-school time. As a student, and later as a teacher, I knew how to organize my life each September.

Bless the parents and grandparents scrambling this month to overcome the mess President Donald Trump has made of access to education. Without controlling the coronavirus, safeguarding our schools or even allowing consistent local authority, his mismanagement will be written in the educational gaps of this generation.

Awards are due to all parents and grandparents acting as first responders in our education crisis. Recognition goes to Vice President Joe Biden for his Roadmap to Reopen Our Schools.

If September is back-to-school month, November is Get Out the Vote month. My thanks go to all parents and my vote goes to the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket.

Anita Perez Ferguson
Santa Barbara

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We do not want vehicles back on our beach and dunes at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicle Recreation Area.

COVID-19’s closure of the ODSVRA has given time for the dune crust to heal so those downwind can breathe; time for shore birds to nest so extinction can be avoided; and time for a vehicle-free beach where children can have a safe beach now.

Nell Langford
Pismo Beach

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