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The broken window is another tragic setback for the historic black church in KC’s Northland

History destroyed

The Washington Chapel CME church in Parkville came under fire on Saturday. Intruders destroyed a historic and spiritual asset: the 1907 John McAfee Memorial Window.

Please support our neighbors and friends in our mourning, restoration and forgiveness community prayer vigil at 4:30pm on Saturday, January 28, at the church, 1137 West St.

In addition to this domestic terror attack which demolished this important window, burglars recently broke into the once church, increasing the cost of necessary repairs to the building.

Washington Chapel is a historic black church and the spiritual, social, and visual focal point of Parkville’s African-American community. Built by previously enslaved members in 1907, the church initially boasted a large and active congregation. However, due to discrimination resulting in a lack of opportunity, most of these families have left the area over the years.

Church membership dwindled to a small and elderly congregation. The building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has suffered greatly. The steeple, roof, bathroom, ceiling, floors, masonry and sidewalk need repairs. Whenever it rains or snows, the shrine suffers internal damage.

We are part of your community. Please be our allies.

-Barbara Luetke Kansas City

Missing information

Todd Graves is entitled to the opinion he expressed in his January 18 guest comment, “School choices, not teacher unions, help.” But why would a sitting member of the board of trustees of Missouri’s premier public university system decide to destroy public education? Maybe he shouldn’t be on that advice at all.

The opinion editors of the Star disappointed readers by not disclosing Graves’s membership of the board in the essay’s endnote, and Governor Mike Parson should never have supported him in that role.

-Todd Wade Kansas City

Watchful eye

The Kansas City, Kansas school district has decided not to install cameras in classrooms due to the disapproval of teachers, students and parents for various reasons. (Jan. 24, KansasCity.com, “After Teachers, Families Threate to Leave, KCK Aces Plan to Put Cameras in Classrooms”) Opponents cited a litany of reasons they objected, from potential disruptions to the invasion of privacy.

I think we are missing out on a golden opportunity that would have benefited learning: a reduction in disciplinary problems in the classroom. Cameras wouldn’t be necessary if students were more disciplined. But it only takes a few to fuel chaos and frustrate teachers and those students who want to learn.

Install cameras in the classrooms and I bet you’ll see the disciplinary issues decline. They would provide evidence of what really happens for all to see, especially parents who dispute whether their children are at fault.

Yes, I can understand the concerns about invasion of privacy – Big Brother watching you and all. But you have to start somewhere.

Above all, schools shouldn’t capitulate just because people disagree based on their own doubts or abilities.

If teachers, students and parents put learning first, cameras would become invisible. Metal detectors in our schools, airports and other public places weren’t welcome at first, but now see what would happen if they were shut down tomorrow.

-Kenneth Goodwin Blue Sources

Flame kept alive

To the gas stove opponents (January 23, KansasCity.com, “Gas Stoves Have a Pollution Problem”) I say this: During a recent power outage, as you gathered around your now useless electric stove and electric coffee, I was able to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and hot breakfast without alarms going off or falling to the floor out of breath.

-Bruce Lee Lenexa

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