LETTERS: Columnist sees classroom through distorted lens

Cepeda sees classroom with distorted lens

It is unfortunate that Esther Cepeda's childhood school experiences have created a distorted lens through which she now views all schools and certain groups of students. Her column ("Students who most need help don't know how to ask," Jan. 15, 7A) uses sophomoric stereotypes to characterize wealthier students as those "who start to curry favor in the lower grades and grow up to be grade-grubbers in high school."

Are "wealthier" students all those that are even marginally above the poverty line? It is true that many of our poorer students do not have the cultural background that allows them to be more proactive and assertive within the school environment. It does not follow that teachers do not recognize this need and address it. It also does not follow that children cannot "engage with people who are not like them." That is veiled racism and classism. Perhaps it's best that Ms. Cepeda has left her classroom to a more enlightened educator.

-- Robert Minott, Lawrenceville