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Workplace Violence - No Easy Answer

The authors of the opinion essay "American Workplace Needs Humanizing" (March 23) seem to have arrived at a conclusion in need of a few facts. James Alan Fox and Jack Levin blame "corporate culture" and "cut-throat competition" for the increase in workplace violence.

It is odd then, that the examples of workplace violence cited involve US Postal Service employees and a Connecticut State Lottery employee. Both enterprises are known for their lack of competition and their employees' "you can't fire me" union mentality. The authors see a need for "civility and decency in the workplace." We have all seen the degradation of civility and decency in all aspects of American culture, why would the workplace be immune? Why is "corporate America" to blame?

William Doesburg

Powell, Ohio

Multiculturalism in schools

Regarding "Mandating a Colorful Canon" (March 17): It is almost tragic that our country's schools must consider imposing quotas for reading material to reflect the literary output of writers like Toni Morrison and even, probably, Langston Hughes!

There can be no opposition to good literature. Not even because of cost. How can anyone in education fail to see the value of learning and sharing cross-cultural ideas - which is what education through literature really is?

When I was teaching English literature 20 years ago, my students in our small farming community could select paperbacks like "All Quiet on the Western Front," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "Red Sky At Morning," "Another Country," "The Good Earth," "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," and many others.

They were controversial, and a few students chose not to read some of them, but all joined in the discussions on every cultural and racial issue. Some of my students had never even been 22 miles to the north to Portland, Ore. We had no students of other cultures. Most came out of that literary experience with far different beliefs and feelings than they had been growing up with.


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