School planning shake-up needed
Valerie Jennings draws attention to the closure of secondary schools in the western coastal suburbs and the sale of land they were on, raising the spectre of bush and coastal dunes being expropriated on which to build schools in future (Letters, 12/10).
The problem extends up the coast. Scarborough, Craigie and Padbury high schools, as well as Carine TAFE, have been closed and, except for Padbury, the land sold.
This shows an abject lack of planning by successive governments.
At a time when residential blocks are being subdivided to allow more dwellings, it is obvious that the increasing number of children living there will need more schools.
The land where City Beach and Padbury high schools are situated should not be sold. As well, we need a Modern School North. Schools such as Woodvale and Duncraig, which offer academic extension programs, like Perth Modern School, are swamped with applicants and cannot take any extra students from outside their boundaries.
Any children outside those boundaries who cannot get in to such courses may be denied the opportunity of studying academic subjects to Year 12.
Many schools these days do not offer English literature, a foreign language, history and geography, or a choice of maths and sciences.
In a democratic country, the quality of a child’s education should not depend on their parents’ ability to pay for it.
The whole system needs a big shake-up.
Jill True, Sorrento
Amend the amendment
The Second Amendment to the US Constitution was passed in December 1791. In those days firearms were virtually all single-shot muzzle-loaders that used black powder as a propellant.
Repeating firearms using brass cartridges were not in common use until the middle of the next century.
Further, machineguns were not invented and were not in use until at least the middle of the 19th century.
How, then, could the proposers of the Second Amendment have envisaged what they were ultimately responsible for loosing on the American public?
In light of the growing frequency of massacres of the nature of the recent one in Las Vegas, it might be time for the people of the US to stand up to the American gun lobby and actually legislate to make the country safer for all.
Peter Baker, Binningup
Theatre and guns
In Minneapolis, the US city where Australian Justine Damond was shot, there is the Fitzgerald Theatre, named after writer F. Scott Fitzgerald.
In that theatre, storyteller Garrison Keillor recorded his famous weekly radio program, A Prairie Home Companion.
A highlight was the news from Lake Wobegon, an imaginary town where all the women were strong, all the men good looking, and all the children above average.
In the foyer of the theatre, there is a large, framed sign that reads: The Fitzgerald Theater Bans Guns In These Premises.
I have tried to imagine that sign in the foyer of His Majesty’s Theatre here, but I just can’t get my head around that idea.
David Hough, Wembley Downs
The immigration department’s recent rejection of cafe owner Paul Henwood’s permanent visa application because it came via post instead of the department’s demanded courier delivery is not just bureaucratic madness.
It is also totally at odds with the department’s clear statement on its website that, “We encourage you to lodge your applications online as it is cheaper and facilitates streamlined processing arrangements.”
Virtually all applications and dealings with Immigration have been moved online by the department itself.
One would think that the prime issue is to receive the documentation itself and not how it arrives at a particular office — a concept obviously too challenging for the bureaucrats running Immigration.
W. McNamara, Nedlands
Hollywood casting couch
Let’s face it, Harvey Weinstein’s antics are nothing new for Hollywood (News, 12/10).
Those old enough well remember the tales of the casting couch in the days when the legendary Warner brothers, Louis B. Mayer, the Selznicks, Sam Goldwyn, and a number of others ruled the roost.
But the dalliance on the divan certainly had a bit more chutzpah than a dingy hotel corridor or a massage table. John Sheridan, Wellard