Letters to the Editor

Letters: With lawsuit dismissed, teacher says SCASD’s tactics have had ‘devastating effect’

Teacher disputes school district’s claims

In a July 18 CDT article, “Federal Judge Dismissed a Teacher’s Lawsuit Against SCASD Superintendent,” SCASD Solicitor Etter stated that he and Superintendent Bob O’Donnell still contend that I struck a student, despite the finding of an independent arbitrator fully vindicating me and finding the district’s evidence “woefully inadequate.”

Etter claimed that this was because the district’s evidence was hearsay. The district did have other evidence, but the arbitrator found it even less credible than the hearsay, containing contradictions and inconsistencies which made it unreliable. The district had only sketchy and incomplete notes of its interviews, conducted without notice to me or opportunity to participate by my attorney. Another teacher who was present did not see any student struck.

According to Etter, the “unfounded” conclusion by Children and Youth Services meant “something happen(ed) that is inappropriate.” But under the Child Protective Services Act, if there was even “a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury to a child,” the report would not have been “unfounded.” And I was not accused of some unspecified “inappropriate” act, but of deliberately striking a child, which the CYS investigation — which had the same weaknesses as the district’s — never concluded.

Despite fervent denials, the district pressured me to confess, added two days’ suspension for “immorality” when I did not, and repeatedly threatened to write to the Pennsylvania Department of Education about revoking my teaching license. The district’s tactics have had a devastating effect on my life and career. Our teachers deserve better from the district.

Lisa Bevan, State College

Potter Township plant trades health for jobs

What a joke on us! So much for citizens’ constitutional rights to “health and general welfare!” Apparently it’s “old news” that Pennsylvania entered into a contract with Royal Dutch Shell Corporation and has built a gigantic ethane cracker plant in Potter Township to fulfill petro-industry’s pledge to “pave the future with plastic” — drilling another screw into our environmental coffin.

“Plastic is good for humanity,” paltered construction manager Hilary Mercer. Legislators and Governor Wolf are recklessly trading our children’s health for 5,000 jobs. Why not 5,000 infrastructure jobs? Do not ignore scientific evidence of PFAS contamination found in more than 700 communities and in more than 100 million Americans’ drinking water. What good is cancer research when we clearly ignore cancer prevention by allowing petrochemicals that are proven to cause cancer, leukemia and other diseases to proliferate? Roundup, PSAS chemicals, the pesticide chlorpyrifos, chromium, lead and mercury are all polluting air, soil, water, our bodies, and must be banned — even chromium and mercury are found in Penn State water supply.

Harvard scientists a decade ago discovered alarming levels of DEHP in urine of babies exposed to plastics through tubing, IV bags and other medical devices, dangerously impairing endocrine systems and impacting male reproductive tract-causing hypospadias and testes cancer. The plastic factory in Potter Township is unconstitutional and must be halted. The U.S. Constitution Section 10 states: “No state shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation ... that will damage the general welfare of citizenry.”

Micaela Amateau Amato, Boalsburg