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Montauk defends school reforms

Lance Montauk School board candidate
Tuesday October 22, 2002

To the Editor: 


The only error I saw in the Daily Planet’s accurate article (Oct. 7), was that I advocated dropping some special education programs in the Berkeley school district and not, as reported, students. I suggested we join other schools to form “consortia,” avoiding the $73,716 we pay yearly for behavior counseling for one student, $75,400 yearly for another’s nursing, and speech therapy for hundreds of students at $80 per hour.  

Next, I deeply understand Ms. McDonald-Cacho (Forum, Oct. 14) and her desire to provide for her injured child. I have had a similar experience with the birth disability of my wife’s brother. When I found his testicular cancer (doctors never examined him thoroughly) we, too, struggled to get him good medical care. However, it was not I who “cavalierly” judged the “human worthiness” of the only deformed baby I ever delivered, during my medical studies in Brussels; the otherwise healthy infant was smothered that night... by his parents.  

Since Ms. McDonald-Cacho ridicules my human rights record, I will add that, witnessing euthanasia in Belgian hospitals, I took risks by objecting, and kept a secret log, revealed in “The Lancet” in March, 2001. The journal’s articles on this issue led to groundbreaking legislation in Europe. 

But my human rights work really dates back to my “stint” at Amnesty International. In London recently, I dined with my ex-Amnesty boss, now a knight and long U.N. advisor on torture. He informed me of the increasing acceptance of my proposals on medical ethics, submitted by Amnesty to the U.N. in 1975.  

Finally, Ms. McDonald-Cacho’s remarks about how a women’s world is not a prison hardly merit comment. For example, while Ms. McDonald-Cacho may live free as the wind, my daughter’s award-winning article in Berkeley High’s “Jacket” exposed the exploitation of females in Berkeley by Lakireddy Bali Reddy. This lead to his conviction for importation of female minors for sexual predation. Even in our town women may suffer at the hands of men, a fact I remember even if Ms. McDonald-Cacho doesn't.  


Lance Montauk 

School board candidate