IRS broke law on orders from White House

Re: "What were IRS biggies really doing at the White House?" Editorial, June 6

The IRS may well be a monster for going after anti-Obama groups, but common sense dictates that it could not have acted on its own to persecute citizen groups. It is quite obvious that the order to act illegally came from above.

Those seeking favor with the administration, or out of loyalty to the president for having appointed them to gourmet gravy jobs, did not need anyone to force them to break the law.

And no one should be confused about what the IRS did: It broke the law.

Congress is pretty much obligated to name a commission to investigate the IRS, the White House, and all others in the executive branch who may have had a hand at the persecution of citizens and groups that do not agree with President Obama's policies.

Power is a very dangerous. It corrupts, and innocent citizens have to endure the abuses of government. Americans are beginning to lose trust in a government that should be protecting them, not attacking, humiliating, intimidating and threatening them.

Louis Ginesi Dominguez


Shared-use bill will reduce obesity in District

Re: "Councilman pushes for more access to D.C. school fields," June 3

This issue is more important than people realize.

The recently introduced shared-use bill is an important step to combat obesity in D.C. Under this legislation, school properties can remain open after school hours for community use. The bill resolves liability and immunity concerns that act as barriers for implementation.

As the prevalence of obesity continues to rise, the need for such a policy change is evident. Shared-use agreements are a proven strategy to increase physical activity.Lower income communities especially stand to benefit, as they have fewer resources to support active lifestyles and lack safe places to exercise.

This impacts all of us by managing health care costs and extending the lives of family and friends.Every District citizen should urge their council member to vote in favor of this bill.

Brianne Penrod


Eliminating electives theatens school's hard-won success

Re: "Silver Spring middle school parents fight elimination of class period," May 30

I was pleased to see The Examiner's coverage of Montgomery County Public Schools' recent decision to cut 8th period at Silver Spring International Middle School, leaving students with just one elective. This decision ignores the vital positive connection between academic achievement and electives that SSIMS' success has demonstrated.

SSIMS has been designated an International Baccalaureate school, which requires that students take a foreign language.With fewer electives, fewer children will be able to do so.SSIMS is also a French and Spanish immersion school, and children use two of their elective slots for the target language.

So SSIMS risks not only losing its hard-won IB certification but also the crucial continuation of the very successful immersion program that MCPS labored to build over several decades.

I wholeheartedly agree with Superintendent Joshua Starr when he emphasized that gaining important social and emotional literacy and learning life skills takes placeeverywhere, not just in core curriculum classes. I firmly believe that two electives in SIMSS' extraordinary arts and music programs is a key reason for an environment in which all students are achieving and working well together, thanks to enormous buy-in from the kids and their families.

As these programs have grown, the achievement gap has shrunk.Eliminating the extra elective will severely jeopardize the great strides our school has made since adopting the 8thperiod.

Marah Stets

Silver Spring