Letters Accident article is cold, unfeeling

To the editor:

The article in the Plain Talk on May 9 regarding the accident involving teacher Dan Bergland was very unsettling to those who know him and his family. The article was more than just an accident report. It

brought in details of his condition and the role he plays in the school system, but it was inadequate and fell short of telling the story.

It was cold and unfeeling, and as a former student, I want readers to know that Mr. Bergland is anything but cold and unfeeling.

Employed by the school district for seven years, Mr. Bergland has impacted the lives of so many students. The impact that Mr. B has on his students is evidenced by the relationships that many maintain with him after graduation.

He is devoted to his wife and children, but still manages to include his students into his life. In the classroom, he empowers his students to be successful, and on the field of competition, he inspires his athletes to achieve their full potential.

His success is measured by students who believe they can learn anything, do anything, and become anything.

Dan Bergland is loved and revered by hundreds of students and athletes. He teaches us to believe in ourselves and fight for what we want. I want people to know how incredible this man is and how many lives

he influences. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

Molly Meyers

Lincoln, NE

Front page story was in poor taste

To the editor:

Your front-page article about VHS teacher Dan Bergland's automobile accident in the May 9 edition of the Plain Talk was in very poor taste. The article showed an alarming degree of disrespect for the victim of an unfortunate accident, and the callous nature of the article was distressing to his family and those who know him well.

It showed the kind of low-class journalism that has no place in a hometown weekly newspaper.

It is not appropriate for school officials to comment publicly about the detailed medical condition of a school employee, nor is it appropriate for them to speculate about that employee's prognosis or potential quality of life following recovery. Facts belong in newspapers, hearsay does not.

In the future, please leave such gossip to backyard fences and coffee shops. When a school official makes insensitive and unprofessional comments such as those in last week's article, it is the duty of a responsible editor to refrain from printing them.

Mr. Bergland is a happily-married family man with two adorable children. He possesses qualities of the highest caliber as a teacher, as a role model and as a coach. Sadly, you made no mention of that anywhere in your article, nor did you make mention of the immediate and overwhelming outpouring of support that his family has received.

(From a journalistic standpoint, you missed a huge "scoop" there.)

Mr. Bergland is a positive influence on VHS students this year, just as he has been a positive influence on nearly 1,000 students at VHS since 1996. Each and every one of these students will attest to the brilliance, enthusiasm and wit he brings to the classroom and to the school. From biology and anatomy to his knowledge of the outdoors to athletics to life in general, he teaches students how to be better people.

Finally, I would like to wish Mr. Bergland a speedy recovery and to let his family and friends know that they have my continued prayers and support.

Thomas Ring


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