As a retired social studies teacher for almost four decades, I could not be prouder of the students around the nation who organized a peaceful march and articulate rally to show their dissatisfaction with lawmakers’ unwillingness to pass sensible gun legislation.

This is why we teach. We try to instill in teens a sense of history and civic responsibility. When the awesome responsibilities of participating in a form of government called democracy is passed on to them, they will be ready to handle it. It is during actions like this one that all of the essay-grading and lesson planning are worth it.

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I am also very proud of the fact that the League of Women Voters of Illinois (of which I am a member) is responsible for enacting the law to require a political science class in every high school in Illinois beginning with this school year. I was lucky enough to spend my whole career in a district that required this class for decades.

As the students have shown, they are ready and eager to learn how our governmental institutions work. Isn’t it ironic that Gov. Bruce Rauner chose this week to veto a sensible gun legislation bill? Hopefully, the students who walked out in favor of such bills will remember to vote in this year’s primary for governor. A better TV ad against Gov. Rauner could not have been written.

Jan Goldberg, Riverside

Put lives first

It’s the 21st century and people can unlock their phones with facial recognition yet cannot get guaranteed medical treatment for the flu.

In February, a 38-year-old teacher and mother of two died from the flu because she didn’t want to pay the prescription co-pay of $116. Wouldn’t it be easier to cut off this barrier for everyone? Costs pose a barrier for a significant amount of people who have other financial obligations.

If there was a universal health care system, more people would receive life-saving medication. Universal insurance is the key to making sure medical and prescriptions costs do not hinder the right to wellnesss.

An unnecessary military parade for the sole entertainment of the president will cost $30 million. With that money, 937,000 citizens could receive their flu vaccines without worrying about the expense. Shouldn’t the lives of human beings take precedence over a parade?

Nataly Montiel, McKinley Park


Congratulations to the five Whitney Young students who achieved a perfect score on their ACT test (“Whitney Young’s Fab Five”). It was refreshing to see something positive gracing the front page of the Sun Times Monday morning, rather than the doom and gloom of killings and politics, the usual norm.

Barbara J. Piltaver, Schiller Park

Special thanks

I proudly extend special thanks to Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III, senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ for his recent cogent analysis of the movie “Black Panther.” Rev. Dr. Moss’ analysis of the box office-busting super movie was intellectually endowed, spiritually grounded and mature in its judgment.

His broad vision went well beyond the cinema, and his critique of the normal black stereotypes was profound and right on point. “Black Panther” is proof that when the rules are public and the playing field is equal, there are no limits to success. With a budget of $41.1 million, “Black Panther” has now surpassed more than $1 billion worldwide over this weekend. Many people have seen Black Panther two or three times.

I agree with Rev. Dr. Moss that Black Panther shatters those racial images and myths replacing them with strong, successful black men and strong women. Black Panther is a breath of fresh air, offers role models for African-American children and a renewed sense of hope for the entire human race. This is what happens when the playing field becomes even. Diversity matters.

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president,
Rainbow PUSH Coalition