Great kudos and appreciation for Kathleen Parker’s continued defense of the classics [“To cancel, or not to cancel: That is the question,” Wednesday Opinion, Feb. 17]. The badly misguided notion that a work that fails to speak for everyone is unworthy of teaching to anyone can only implode upon itself — but not before we all are the lesser because of it. 

In defending the classics (just as she has defended free thought and expression in the past), Ms. Parker reminded us of the original and profane meaning of the most famous line from John Donne’s own classic “Devotions”: “Send not to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” We are all diminished by the loss of something good, but only a fool believes they will escape the same fate.

Michael DoumittWoodbridge

I do not mind if kids do not read Shakespeare (after all, Shakespeare did not have “Shakespeare” to read), but I mind a lot if they never acquire the skills to read Shakespeare should they choose to. And the best way, perhaps the only way, to do this is to read Shakespeare. 

Education needs to give kids the reading skills to understand anything they might choose to read. If it does not do so, it is flat-out cheating them.

 John M. Dougherty, Edgewater