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Niagara Falls
Friday, February 3, 2023
Letter to the editor: Lets return to civil debate, not name-calling


Dear editor:

Last week’s issue of The Lake Report contained an op-ed that I’d like to take issue with.  David Israelson’s piece about the NDSB (“Niagara school board’s disgraceful cone of silence”), may have had a valid point, but I think any validity to his statement was lost when he resorted to so much name calling that it was apparent that was all he was interested in. 

I compared this to a much more to the point, and I think, balanced view of events, in another paper, where I felt I got some valid information, and a way to see a fix for the code of conduct.

It seemed as if his whole intent was to make the chair of the board look terrible. There is no conversation there. There is no attempting to discuss board’s code of conduct and I’d say no interest in hearing another view. 

If, in fact the code of conduct needs revision, that’s a conversation to be had with the parties concerned. I know if I was the chair of that board I would not even respond to him.

This is what’s happening now all over social media, and with obviously no results, no change, no improvement.

Any organization I’ve ever been involved in has had some form of “rules of order,” always intended to control debates from often very divergent points, with the aim of finding compromise.  And I’ve seen that work so successfully, over and over.

I have refused to use the kind of invective on social media that’s in that op-ed and refuse to follow conversations in that line. There is just no point.

I would love to see a move toward considered debate of issues that stays away from misleading and fruitless invective. 

I would love to see publishers, such as yourself, decline the kind of letter that takes that kind of approach. It’s a known concept, that as soon as you speak that way, your listener, reader, viewer, stops dead and just reacts without knowing the rest of what your point is.

Political debates everywhere have become completely dysfunctional and I’d like to suggest that vitriol is one of the major reasons. People seemingly love to hate more than fix issues that need attention.

We desperately need a return to civility.

Rick Cullis


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