This letter is in regard to Josie Macia's letter to the editor on Aug. 9 and Ms. Mackey's letter on Aug. 11 concerning the benefit concert for Kyleigh Barler.
It is unconscionable that adults would feel it was necessary and appropriate to use a public forum like a newspaper to chastise a child's efforts to better herself.
According to the article in The Express on Aug. 10, The Express has received a lot of criticism for even printing the article about Ms. Barler's situation and the benefit concert.
I think it is equally unconscionable that so many people in Lock Haven and the surrounding communities felt the need to complain to The Express anonymously about the article.
This is a sad commentary for the community and puts the young people in the Lock Haven area in an untenable situation where anything positive they try to do will bring out the ire of some self righteous adults who think their opinions on the topic are warranted or needed.
These ladies and others are telling our young people just settle, don't bother to try and better yourself. If you reach a hurdle, stop, lower the standard. Even more despicable is some of these adults are saying my kids aren't getting this kind of attention or help so they shouldn't be getting this attention or help.
The children of this community are surrounded by adults who take a negative view of everything that doesn't directly benefit them, and/or that is putting someone else's child in a positive light.
Both letters mentioned above directly and/or indirectly questioned, "What about my child," and that is the real issue these ladies and most others have.
Neither of the ladies who wrote to the editor have any idea what the situation is for Kyleigh Barler, but they proceed to write letters to a newspaper that publically belittle the efforts of the young lady and her teacher.
If they feel so strongly that isn't an appropriate use of their money, then don't bother doing anything to help Ms. Barler.
You were not asked to donate any money. If you believe it isn't appropriate to help a young lady achieve her dream, then you don't need to help.
She didn't ask for your help. Just because you have an opinion about what another person is doing that doesn't make it your responsibility, or more specifically, your right to publically belittle their efforts.
The writers insist that Ms. Barler make a choice, and what Mr. Frazier is trying to do for his student is wrong or unfair.
Ms. Barler has a goal and upon attaining that goal she made a choice. Her choice was to attend Ithaca to further her studies in theater. With that choice she has financial hardships she is trying to overcome.
That is her choice.
She and her teacher are doing everything possible to help her achieve her goal and make her choice possible. What Mr. Frazier is doing for his student is nothing short of remarkable. I commend him for his passion for teaching and his commitment to his students.
Everyone is so divided along political lines, and the predominant view on public education/educators in this community is derived from entertainers like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.
It is unfortunate because the public doesn't realize all teachers do and the sacrifices they make for their students.
Mr. Frazier is an example of what most teachers do, but they don't generally get, nor do they seek, that public recognition for their efforts.
I would be proud to have my children taught by a man who cares that much and will go that far to help one of his students.
Ms. Macia suggests there are many schools with theater as a major choice. She is correct.
There are many schools that offer a great number of majors for students to study, including theater. Ms. Barler wants to attend the best.
Ms. Barler is an achiever who has set high standards and doesn't want to accept settling. She has that right.
It is encouraging to see such a young person work so hard and go to such efforts to achieve her dreams. It is disheartening to know that there are people like Ms. Macia that will see this as a bad thing, and a way they can impose their opinions on others.
Ms. Mackey says there are many other talented and smart young people in the community that deserve the opportunity to go to a college of their choice.
She is right, and I would encourage those young people to do what Ms. Barler and Mr. Frazier are doing to try to attain their goals.
Unfortunately, that may not happen now.
When people like Ms. Mackey and Ms. Macia feel it is their right and it is necessary to publicly criticize the efforts of Ms. Barler it discourages others from trying to do everything they can.
These overly negative and unsolicited opinions may have embarrassed Ms. Barler and may cause others to shy away from attempts to better themselves in fear of a public browbeating.
Quite frankly, ladies, your opinions are irrelevant.
Your judgmental approach and condescending attitudes aren't needed in this young lady's life. She is an achiever, a go-getter, and someone who doesn't let limitations get in her way.
She doesn't want to settle for second best without trying.
I admire her for that, and can only hope that my own children have the same heart and determination when they set their minds to achieve a goal.
Yet it seems you and likely others want her to settle for less. Is that the way we really want to raise our children?
Is that the America we want our children to grow up in? I applaud Kyleigh's efforts and I applaud the efforts of Mr. Frazier.
With young people like Kyleigh working hard and striving to meet their goals, and educators like Mr. Frazier who will go the extra mile for their students, our country will be a better place.
Good luck, Kyleigh.
This is one adult who will be rooting for you. I hope to see you on Broadway someday.