These letters to the editor appear online only and not in the Tucson Citizen’s print edition.
The Arizona House has approved a ballot measure to make English the state’s official language (“Official-English measure gets House approval,” March 24).
As cartoonist Tommy Tomorrow once noted, making English our official language makes as much sense as declaring the sun our official source of energy.
English is already the de facto official language of every state, and nearly all immigrants are highly motivated to acquire the language or improve their skills.
According to the 2000 Census, only 1 percent of the U.S. population cannot speak English. (In 1890, 3.6 percent of the population could not speak English.)
Politicians should spend their time on legislation that actually serves the public interest, not with “feel-good” proposals that do nothing.
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, Calif.
Mental health program helps teens
Re: the March 23 online letter (“Criminal pharmaceuticals”) questioning the validity and purpose of the Columbia University TeenScreen program:
Much of the letter contained misinformation. TeenScreen is a national mental health and suicide-risk screening program that offers parents the opportunity for their teens to receive a voluntary mental health check-up.
Research confirms that TeenScreen is effective in identifying youth at risk for depression, suicide and other mental health problems.
TeenScreen does not involve diagnosis or treatment, as the letter insinuates. I encourage anyone with questions to visit www.teenscreen.org for complete and accurate information.
Far too often, youth suffer mental illness in silence. Programs such as TeenScreen provide parents and communities an opportunity to catch these young people before they fall.
Columbia University TeenScreen Program
New York City, N.Y.