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Letters to the Editor 3/25

March 23, 2001

Letters to the Editor 3/25



'Rebel' is not a slur, it's a point of pride



To the editor:

Whether you are a supporter or not of the great South Hagerstown High School Rebels, it's time to stand behind them and support their beliefs and traditions. There is an unjustified force out there trying to deface and take away our beloved Rebel name and the flag that we have so proudly flown for these many years. This force wants you to believe that the Rebel name and the school flag represents slavery from the Civil War era. Slavery was abolished.

South Hagerstown High School wasn't even built until 1959 - a hundred years after the conflict started. The Civil War was over in 1865. The Civil War was not just fought over slavery - much of the conflict was over states' rights, cotton industry and commerce. The colors of the flag design don't match, nor do the goals. I'm sure that South Hagerstown High School doesn't teach slavery in any way. Don't people realize that this issue is gone? Can't they understand that over 80 percent of the people in this nation didn't even come here until after the Civil War? And that the ones who did own slaves are dead and gone?

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This was a way of life that ended with the war. So why do these people keep pointing their fingers at everyone now? It's over, get a life. Why on earth would you want to pick on a high school name or symbol - are you that insecure? South Hagerstown High School teams and academics are outstanding. Their sportsmanship in athletics and music is known from Canada to Florida. They're taught that being a South Hagerstown High School Rebel is a proud tradition. It doesn't represent anything to be ashamed of.

Most of the South Hagerstown High School Rebels I've had the pleasure to be associated with have always been proud of their school. Their plans and goals are always directed to a better and brighter future for every American while keeping with them what they learned while they were at South Hagerstown High School.

Most people don't care what color or nationality you are anymore. Just get out in the world and earn your own self respect first, then everyone will respect you. Freedom is something you have to earn no matter what you are or where you come from. What happened in the past history doesn't make everyone in the future responsible for the past.

We hope that we learn from our mistakes and are able to forgive and forget. Don't forget that we are all rebels in one way or another. We rebel against taxes, high prices, big government, unfair local government, etc., etc. Being a Rebel doesn't mean that you support slavery past or present.

Why don't they take this wasted energy and put it to good use? Teach our students how to help others, the poor, the underprivileged, etc. Perhaps they could spend more time with students who have serious problems so they can find out what they are searching for. Maybe if they gave respect for what others believe in, they could have the respect they seem to be searching for.

Perhaps if you are a teacher, you could teach our young people that no matter what, we all are Americans -not African Americans, not Asian Americans, not Mexican Americans, just good old Americans. If you could get people to stop drawing these lines around themselves and realize that yes, we are all Americans. If by some chance you don't agree with this, I'm sorry.

In conclusion, I have been proud to be a South Hagerstown High School graduate for a long time, and I will continue to support them to the best of my ability, for as long as I live. God bless America, land of the free and home of the brave.

Joe McElroy

Hagerstown

Same old liberal dogma won't help our kids



To the editor:

Allan Powell, The Herald-Mail Company's favorite liberal ideologue's recent article follows the standard dogma the education bureaucracy always advances for inaction on the public education front.

Meanwhile, the rest of the industrialized world's students kick American students' collective butts in math and science achievement levels. Taiwan recruits their classroom teachers from the top 5 percent of their university system, while the United States has created education institutions which attract students from the bottom third of this nation's intellectual capacity, as measured by SAT scores, to become classroom teachers.

Taiwan, a country whose future relies upon brainpower, selects graduates from its university system who have demonstrated intellectual capacity. America insists upon maintaining educational institutions who attract students from the bottom third of the normal curve (bell curve) measured by SAT scores as this nation's future teacher corps.

Powell's premise in a nutshell is basically that the love of learning is destroyed by testing. Educators favor student achievement but it's not likely to happen.

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