You can't "just shake off" a concussion: Thank you for this timely, informative, and well-written article ("Knocked Out," Steve Jansen and Gus Garcia-Roberts, August 18). As a neurologist, I can't begin to tell you how frustrating it is when I see head trauma shrugged off as an injury that someone can "just shake off."
If a running back shatters his knee or arm, there would be no question but to pull him from the game and give him time to heal and recover. But if that same running back suffers a concussion — essentially shattering the brain — he is told that it's just a minor event and that he can, and should, go back in with no ill effects.
If anything, a concussion is worse. An arm or a knee eventually heals; the brain struggles to do so, as anybody who has had, or knows someone who has had, a stroke can attest.
I am a football fan, and despite the horrifying story you mention about Peyton Manning's trying to "cheat" the concussion tests, I am also glad the National Football League, in general, finally has come to its senses and is starting to treat concussions as the serious and life-threatening injuries that they are.
If that same concern can be passed down to the students and players who might someday be professional athletes, perhaps we can avoid the type of devastating injuries that can compromise people for a lifetime.
Marc Wasserman, MD, Litchfield Park
Bing-ing machine isn't enough: Thank you for this brave and detailed exploration of head injuries in our children.
No test or any machine "that goes bing" substitutes for expert evaluation and treatment. Any neuropsychological test should be interpreted by a professional with expertise in this area.
Joshua Rotenberg, MD, Houston
Too much $$ involved to change football: Right now, as I read this article, my extended family is gearing up for the football season — buying all their team jerseys, mugs, hats, dressing their babies in sports gear, and sitting in front of the TV getting all lathered up over their teams.
Just like big tobacco, big football is beyond being touched by the medical profession. [There's] too much money and too much consumer fanaticism to even make a dent in the way teams do business.
[The issue of concussions] is just a blip on the radar of those who breathe touchdowns from now until February.
Time to repeal Prop 207: I really enjoyed the "Spanish Dip" article (Amy Silverman, August 4). I think that language-immersion programs are beneficial for children, especially in this emerging global economy.
One issue that I have is that the program you describe requires all students to pass an English-language-proficiency test, which excludes English-language learners, primarily those of Mexican origin. I find this hypocritical and frustrating, because only privileged white [children] have access to the benefits of learning a second language, whereas English learners are required to be segregated and learn just one language.
[And] this program not only excludes ethnic minorities who are English learners but potentially excludes children who have learning disabilities.
Diversity on all levels in the classroom is important when thinking about the success of educational programs. I think it's time to repeal Proposition 207 and re-include Spanish speakers, as well as children with developmental disabilities, in language-immersion programs.
Elizabeth Harvey, Tempe
Why speak English in a Spanish class, Tim? Sheesh: Your story says: "Then [the teacher] gently reminds the front office that she's not to speak English in front of the children."
We "smile and gently remind" her: This is the United States of America! Not Spain! Not Mexico! Unbelievable!
Tim Gaines, city unavailable
Somehow, we'll survive, Roberto: It seems to me that the parents of these kids [want them in these] classes. I can assure you that these kids are learning something valuable.
I sometimes wonder if our nation will survive all the narrow-minded, tunnel-visioned idiots we are spawning.
Roberto Bravo, city unavailable
John Barry — real American hero: This moron [educator] Ana Contreras should be teaching the Hispanic children English so that they don't end up like their moocher parents looking for a government check provided by a 77-year-old hard worker like me.
John Barry, city unavailable
Based on some of these letters, we are ugly Americans: Children are not being forced to learn Spanish [in the schools mentioned in the article]. Wanting to learn a foreign language, whatever it may be, is not a negative.
In schools across the pond, children are taught multiple foreign languages, and that's a good thing. Our education system could take a cue. We are known as stupid, ugly Americans [in] many other countries.
Joel Castaneda, city unavailable
Don't have kids, tough guy: If I had children in [one of these] classes mentioned, I would tell my child to learn the subject, but do not speak Spanish for your first language. In other words, I would tell them to defy the teacher.
Jeffrey Everhart, city unavailable
Connie has all the answers: I think it's beneficial if everyone here in Arizona learns Spanish. It's part of the Arizona-Southwestern history.
However, those who speak Spanish exclusively also need to know that to succeed in this state and in the United States, English is the language to learn. Look at the successful immigrants around you.
Connie G. Scrammel, city unavailable
The vast majority do obey them, Harrison: There isn't "anti-immigrant" or "anti-Latino" sentiment in Arizona — beyond the usual isolated and universally despised pockets of racist losers you'll find in any other state.
We just ask that our friends from south of the border obey our laws when entering our country, for their safety and ours. Just as is expected in every other country.
Harrison Bergeron, city unavailable