Consequences for actions important

In regard to the Supreme Court decision concerning a high school cheerleader who told her coaches and school to (expletive) off, which the Leader-Telegram supported, I respectfully disagree.

I am a firm believer in free speech, as are most Americans. And yes, no threat was made, or intended. But what does this tell our children? That it’s OK to lay out f-bombs to anyone in authority? That the next time a coach removes a player from the game, he, or she, can say no and give them the finger? Without consequences?

Her right of free speech came into play because she was not on school grounds. Whether this Snapchat was made in the locker room, her home or China, the delivery and receiving method is identical. Whether it’s an f-bomb on Snapchat, or to their face, the message is the same. Justice Thomas dissented, asking “how does a court decide if speech is on or off campus?” Your view said his arguments were flawed. To me they were spot on.

This girl was not suspended by the school, as it should be, except she was suspended from the dance squad, as it should be. Raising three girls, if any had done that, my wife and I would have grounded them, taken away their phone, and explained that if they did not like their coaches’ decision that they were not good enough for the varsity squad, work harder next year.

What lesson did this student learn? That she can say anything without consequence. That not only is there no consequence, but the school’s appropriate consequence would be overturned. What type of adult is that person going to be? A future Trump?

Love your paper and the different viewpoints. Let’s all try harder to respectfully agree to disagree.

Charlie Schell

Eau Claire

My kind of town? Violence a concern

After reading the story in the July 7 Leader-Telegram (“Chicago’s Independence Day weekend marred by violence,” Page 5B), I believe overzealous policing, while certainly an issue that deserves attention as it occurs, is the least of the problems plaguing our major cities.

The aforementioned story reported that 104 Chicagoans were shot over the four-day weekend, 17 fatally, including a 6-year-old girl. I’m not sure how “defunding the police” would improve these statistics. Then again, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to be a police officer in such a dangerous, lawless environment.

I don’t imagine we’ll see widespread public outrage or marches to protest these senseless killings. And that’s too bad, because “government officials,” which include the police, can’t begin to clean up such a mess. It must come from the citizens themselves, who should be sickened by such ongoing carnage.

No slogan on a T-shirt can fix this. The root causes run far deeper.

Don Huebscher

Eau Claire

Tobacco use still cause for worry

I recently shared written testimony for the Joint Committee on Finance at a hearing to talk about the importance of continuing tobacco prevention and control efforts in Wisconsin.

In my testimony, I expressed my concerns about tobacco and nicotine use among Wisconsin’s youth, particularly in the form of vaping and e-cigarettes. I was born and raised in Eau Claire and stayed here for nursing school. Over the last two years, I worked under a fellowship at UW-Eau Claire to provide education about vaping and e-cigarettes and provided free educational sessions to over 100 school staff along with directly talking to youth in after-school programs and a juvenile detention center.

To educate others, I had to learn more. The more I learn, the more concerned I become. Incredible strides have been made in reducing the use of traditional cigarettes among Wisconsinites in the last few decades, but that progress is being undermined by the rise in e-cigarette use among youth. According to 2020 data from the CDC and FDA, about 20% of high schoolers and 5% of middle schoolers reported current e-cigarette use.

Tobacco remains the number one cause of preventable death in Wisconsin and costs Wisconsin $4.6 billion in health care and lost productivity costs. It’s critical that we continue our efforts to help tobacco users quit and prevent youth from ever starting.

If you use tobacco products and are ready to quit, call the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line for free help at 1-800-QUIT NOW (784-8669). For more local tobacco prevention and control efforts, visit The Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention: GetInvolvedASAP.org.

Lindsey Boehm, RN

Eau Claire

Justice called for in doctor’s plight

Our son, Dr. Steven Weiss, was fired from the job he loved for telling the truth. During the Mayo “investigation” he was never given the personal chance to explain his case and defend himself.

The cause for his dismissal was a book he authored: “Carnage in America: Covid-19, Racial Injustice, and the Demise of Donald Trump.” The book lucidly describes the health challenges faced during the pandemic, the plight of many people including patients and care providers, and the political hegemony complicating the situation. Patient reference was given a fictitious name. While lavishly complementing his Mayo employer, he also called attention to questionable policies.

If his expressed political opinions are considered Mayo offensive, it is difficult to imagine that a sensible person would not know that the author’s views are independent of Mayo’s. Nevertheless, we’ve been told that subsequent printings of Steve’s book will state that fact.

Over his 32 years of Mayo service, many patients have confided to us how Steve’s compassionate care has given significant value to their lives. But you don’t have to take his parents’ word for this. Tangible evidence is available for examination.

Additionally, he has aided the Mayo name by providing many beneficial volunteer community services. Among his community leadership credits are the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic, the Eau Claire Y and the Bolton Refuge House. He has also freely contributed his medical expertise at U.S. and various foreign disaster areas.

Dr. Steven Weiss loves his work, his patients, his community and his associated health practitioners.

The truth should be known. Justice needs restoration.

Dave and Gloria Weiss

Eau Claire