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Letters to the Editor

11/05/2014

False impression given to Catholic contribution to schools

The Editor: I was very disappointed to read your headline and article, "Church not helping reconciliation" (PM, Oct. 8) regarding Catholic participation in the Indian residential school reconciliation process.

Although I'm relieved to see that in your Oct. 29 online edition you have printed the article by Deborah Gyapong, with the headline, 'Catholic entities "discriminated" against by TRC commissioner,' I suggest that your initial headline and article were misleading and unhelpful to the reconciliation process. Although you were quoting Justice Sinclair in your initial article, you gave his perspective prominence both by your headline and your placement of the article on the first page.

You have now waited three weeks to provide another perspective. As someone who has been deeply involved in these concerns and wholly committed to reconciliation, I expect more of our Catholic press and especially of the Prairie Messenger. — Marie Zarowny, SSA, Victoria, B.C.


Students should be trained for peace, not fighting

The Editor: Stephen Moore's PeaceQuest article in the Oct. 8 Prairie Messenger gives voice to those of us who seek to "affirm peace as a core Canadian value" and who wish to see Canada in a peacemaking role - a role that values social justice and seeks reconciliation.

As one of those people, I was very alarmed when I learned that military training will soon be offered to Grade 11 and 12 students in Regina high schools, both public and separate. Not only will the course be taken during regular school hours, but students will earn two credits and be paid $2,000 for taking it.

From the perspective of the military, the goal of the course is "to revitalize the reserves." Should we be turning our high schools into military recruitment centres? According to Education Minister Don Morgan, military training will give our students "great chances to build life and leadership skills." Do students need to take military training to learn such skills?

Along with many other people in the province, I am concerned that military training at such a young age will ultimately teach that conflict is best resolved through the use of force and weapons. An alternative to military training could involve the use of education resources from the Peacequest website (peacequest.ca).

Teachers can access resources that focus on the importance of global peace and non-violent conflict resolution. Students need to focus on the development of critical thinking skills and to learn about the root causes of conflict.

Pope Francis, in his message for World Day of Peace, asks us to "give up the way of arms and go out to meet the other in dialogue, pardon and reconciliation, in order to rebuild justice, trust, and hope around you!"

Peace groups in Regina and Saskatoon have developed a petition to let our premier and education minister know that many people in the province are opposed to the plan to offer military training to high school students.

Anyone who wants a petition can email makingpeace@sasktel.net or go to www.facebook.com/PeaceQuestRegina"

It covers all the concerns about doctor-assisted suicide. Those who have not read it should hasten to do so, as we hear all the wrong arguments in the secular press. — Judy Corkery, Regina