116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
This article has me absolutely fuming ("Data shows 'alarming' disparity for Black students in Cedar Rapids," June 15)! To put Officer Jess Barnhart’s photos with this appalling article makes me sick to my stomach.
Of all police officers and school resource officers in our community, there is none who can begin to compare with Jess. She is the most dedicated, compassionate and giving person I have ever known.
As an experienced teacher myself (with 29 years under my belt), I know for a fact that Jess strives every day to build relationships with all of her students and their families, regardless of race. She has used her own personal funds to buy doughnuts and cookies for the kids, and she also fundraised and used much of her own money to purchase bicycles for students. She bought and delivered those bikes on her own time, as well.
The Gazette deserves to be flooded with complaints regarding the use of Jess’s photos with this disparaging article.
How about actually interviewing students and parents about the difference Officer Jess has made? How about researching all of the things Jess does to fight against any disparity? This article serves no purpose other than to add fuel to the fire of the hatred for law enforcement officers.
A written apology needs to be published regarding this horrible misrepresentation. All of these officers, just like all teachers, pour their hearts and souls into everything they do for students. What a rotten way to “thank” them.