In the May 10 article "Vacation with a cause," the photo of schoolchildren before a meal in their Floating Learning Center in Cambodia is a lesson for us all in itself.
Over a hundred children, not over 5 years old, sitting peacefully in a cramped location, snug against each other in front of a simple broth uneaten. They are praying and without agitation waiting for their teacher's instructions. They have clean, crisp clothing with trimmed and simply styled hair. Frankly, I'm not sure they are of this earth; certainly they are not from America.
I'm not a school teacher but I can guess such a scene would be impossible in our 50 states. Don't any of these kids have ADD? Aren't 8 percent of them autistic? Do they all come from perfectly functional families and are without emotional and physical trauma? What's the matter with them, are they not expressing themselves?
Julia Williams is a Columbia resident.