Dear Editor:

(The following letter was sent to the members of the Fontana City Council.)

I am curious if any of you have found the backbone to go against the teacher's union and advocate for the children. By not boldly advocating for children simply to avoid attracting the ire of the teacher's union is cowardice. To not acknowledge the increased suicides and increases in other mental and physical problems is again cowardice. Are any of you strong enough to run for reelection without the support of the greedy teacher's union?

Schools are open, and have been open, all across the nation and the world. There is abundant evidence to show keeping schools closed is doing great damage to children. Recent guests on radio shows that I listen to, a psychiatrist and pediatrician, discuss both mental and physical maladies. Childhood obesity and anxiety are on the rise, including an increase in prescription medications. There will be many children who will suffer long term. The now measurable increase in obesity will certainly bring with it an increase in asthma and weak immune systems, just as I predicted nine months ago as I pushed for the parks to be open.

Schools are open in varying degrees, mostly private schools, but also some public schools across the state. All across the state and the nation those who are vigorously opposing school openings are almost exclusively the larger teacher's unions. "Give us more money" is the mantra. Just as I predicted nine months ago as I pushed for the parks to be open.

Regarding the opening of the parks nine months ago, I would like to say that it was nice to see that the parks were opened in a somewhat timely manner. It was the right time and right decision for those that use the parks. I hope that the parks were opened concurrently across the city not just my local parks.

School athletes are not allowed to play their beloved sports. Many if not most kids' sport careers end when they graduate high school. Meanwhile, athletes on private teams are traveling across the nation to play. Traveling by planes, possibly trains and automobiles, athletes are and have been traveling around the nation then returning to their hometown, including home to Fontana. My mother has a friend and/or her husband who recently have traveled to Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Texas and Florida to follow grandchildren playing football and softball. The athletes, parents and grandparents all live in Fontana, yet athletes and their parents cannot go to a school within their neighborhood to do the same. Is it really a surprise that childhood anxiety and suicides are on the rise? Shame on many, many adults across this nation.

How would you like it if your salary, expense account, reimbursed expenses and pension benefits were taken from you while the other members were fully compensated? Maybe the council could give it a try on a rotating basis. Or just keep making sure that government officials and employees don't miss out on a single dime while businesses and their employees suffer. Alcohol consumption, overdoses and suicides are up for adults. Most likely heavily slanted to those in the private sector as government officials and employees have suffered the least, if any, loss of jobs and income.

Rick Vanderham


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