Every community has a culture that governs what people feel comfortable talking about publicly (“Silence grips La Cañada Unified,” Nov. 13). La Cañada Flintridge is so much different from the open culture of the New York suburb where I served as a member of the board of education. That school district was similar in size and demographic makeup (financially and politically), and real estate values also were linked to the blue-ribbon status of the schools. However, people there were not afraid to speak up, and readily expressed their likes and dislikes about the district schools.
Here, anyone daring to utter a negative word about the schools can be easily censured by a heads-in-the-sand society that insists that anything negative said by anyone will affect home values. This is nonsense and very un-American. The current controversy over the alleged remarks of a math teacher is a case in point. No one can be sure if Gabrielle Leko made the derogatory remarks that prompted a complaint. The point is that anyone who dares to demand a full hearing is likened to someone cursing in church and labeled a troublemaker.