LETTER TO THE EDITOR: We need new paradigms

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 | 4:04 p.m. CST

Two suggestions: Reformat classroom divisions and reorganize national identities (we might as well start with the big ideas). These two suggestions don't seem to be associated, but they are.

1. Classroom divisions have a varied history, and in the U.S., the 19th century Prairie Schools had classrooms that were composed of all ages and all abilities. This structure apparently did not hinder the advance of some of our most brilliant innovators, etc.

New paradigm: If we are in agreement that violence, bullying, drugs and sexual harassment are aspects that hinder a productive learning environment then we need to compose classrooms that separate the sensitive intuitives who have a desire to learn, from those who show any tendency at all for violence, etc.

Prisons don't have the money to separate the truly violent from the "accidental tourist," so when one prisoner acts out, the entire prison system adapts to that action and puts further restrictions on everyone. That is not Neanderthal, that is Primordial.

Separate them! And put police or security guards in the room if necessary.

2. National identities, especially those in Britain and Europe, are under great stress because of the influx of foreigners, who may have social expectations that are inexplicable to the natives. Just as the influx of Europeans into Africa and Asia caused untold suffering and destruction to the native civilizations, I believe we are seeing the same negative effects now, in Europe.

Every group of people has a right to choose their compatriots according to their core values and beliefs starting on a very small scale, such as within a family or friends, to the levels of city, state and country. If a nation chooses to be atheist, they have that right and they should be able to send away from their borders (or their houses) those who they find in discordance to their values. If a nation chooses to identify with Catholicism or Protestantism, then they should be able to maintain a harmonious environment based on their core beliefs.

This statement has nothing to do with race. This statement has nothing to do with "Jingoism."

Julia Williams is a Columbia resident.

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