Is Red Ink Discouraging to Kids?

"They Just Don't Get It!" So says retired Army Colonel and counterterrorism specialist David Hunt (search) in his new book. He says Washington is still compromising your safety. And politicians have still left us ill equipped to wipe out this threat. In this book, Col. Hunt is publishing 50 pages of previously unseen documents that show how serious the terror threat (search) is right now. But he's no whiner — as you will see when he's on “DaySide” Wednesday. He believes in fixing the problem, and will lay out what he thinks we need to do at a personal and political level to fight terrorism better.

Now a story sent to me by loyal viewer David Townsend: In a number of school districts, complaining parents are forcing teachers not to use red ink when grading their children's papers and tests. The chair of the English department at Palm Desert High School (search) in California says too much red ink is discouraging and often "too painful" for students to read.

Hmmmmmmmm, what do you think about this? Should we be MAKING teachers use green ink for fear of traumatizing kids? I think back to when I got papers back with red ink on them, and although I was disappointed, it got my attention: I made darn sure I didn't repeat the mistakes that led to the red ink. But hey, I may be wrong — so I want to hear from you. E-mail me at, and I'll use your e-mails in our debate Wednesday on the show.

As for today's show, and your feedback: Seems the obesity study (in which researchers donned fat suits to see if overweight people are discriminated against by store clerks) got the most comments. A lot of you noticed that, although there were thin researchers and "fat" researchers, they never went to the same store clerk:

If they don't use the same clerks, the experiment has no merit.... From what I heard they had a hypothesis and then gathered fact to prove it.
— Steve Waal

That was so ridiculously UNscientific I can't believe it... they had no control group. They switched clerks so that you didn't get a comparison of fat vs. think with the same clerk. Their time would have been better-spent scrapbooking.

A member of our studio audience also asked, did the researchers go only to thin clerks? Or medium size clerks? Or overweight clerks? The researchers didn't address that, and I think this is a valid criticism. However, three other members of the studio audience said they personally had been (repeatedly) treated harshly by clerks for being heavy — including a young gal who was told by a Macy's saleswoman, "I don't think there's a dress in this store for someone your size." (I'm guessing she's a 12 petite.)

And this came in as well:

I just watched your segment on discrimination against obese women from sales clerks. I was one of those women. The majority of the time I was ignored, even while standing at a counter where several sales people were standing and talking among themselves.... I eventually lost 118 lbs. I could not believe how differently I was treated; not only by salespeople but the public at large... I completely agree with your guests.

I have struggled with obesity all my life... I once had a pastor for whom I heroically volunteered my services tell me he would never hire me because I was fat. I lost 214 pounds and it was amazing how people who didn't particularly care for me [before] were no seeking me out to be their friend...
—Beth Wiruth, Keyport, Washington

Watch "DaySide with Linda Vester" weekdays at 1 p.m. ET

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