Letters to the Editor

July 18, 2010

Sheriff candidate says officers are needed in all county schools

To the editor:

Some parents might find it strange that I am interested in putting police officers in every Washington County school. But it makes sense.

It must first be stated that the schools are a direct extension of the community. Each school shares the same problems and concerns as the citizens in that area. With this in mind, it makes perfect sense to have a police presence in and around the schools during the school day. The school resource officer program is a valuable and necessary part of modern policing.

The school resource officer provides an identifiable presence, which serves as a deterrent for some negative behaviors and criminal activity that might otherwise be perpetrated by students or visitors. Given that the officer is present in the school on a daily basis, he/she becomes an accepted member of the school faculty, leading to increased trust and more open communication with students. The officer will often receive information, which might help determine possible threat risks and quicken problem identification, leading to proactive measures to stop harmful or dangerous behavior within the school.


Police officers assigned to schools become very knowledgeable as they deal with their school's student population. They are able to identify social trends and behaviors that might lead to problems outside the school environment. The school resource officer will routinely share relevant information with the police officers working in the general community, which leads to proactive policing to prevent specific crimes and/or faster apprehension of criminal offenders.

Also, it should be noted that Washington County Public Schools have a low drop-out rate. There can be no doubt those programs, which provide positive role models and mentoring opportunities, help keep more students in school. The positive interactions facilitated by school resource officers during the school day contribute greatly toward that end.

Jim Woods
Clear Spring
candidate for Washington County sheriff

A vote for Virginia Graf would give W.Va. a chance to progress

To the editor:

I met Virginia Graf at a local meeting several months ago as a candidate for U.S. Congress in the 2nd District of West Virginia.

Talking to her, I found she is interested in listening to and helping the people of the 18 counties she would like to represent. This is in opposition to her opponent, who I believe is interested in corporations. Virginia hears that jobs and education are the biggest concerns of the people.

As an innovator and educator for 35 years, she has changed traditional education to continuous education curriculum, introduced multisensory learning, encouraged training and retraining for jobs, uncovered the reasons for record dropouts from schools and found tenable solutions, and volunteered as a teacher for English as a Second Language. All of these accomplishments are leading to a way to obtain and keep jobs in West Virginia.

As a wife, mother, grandmother and teacher, Virginia Graf has spent her life doing for others. She "sees a relationship among the education we receive, the innovation we dare and the activism we choose. Each hinges on the other and gives birth to our contentment and our success."

Virginia does not think the raising of a million dollars should be the criterion for the winning of a political seat. She asks that voters choose her as their new representative on the interest she displays in the citizens in her district, not special interests.

Virginia is determined to move West Virginia from the bottom third ranking in salaries, population growth, education and industry up to the top third. With our help on Election Day, I feel she is the person to do just that. She intends to lead toward "the common good"; enact environmentally sound practices to protect water, air, recreation areas and mountains; honor constituents by listening to their needs and concerns; and probe for new sources of energy.

Meet you at the polls and give this breath of sunshine a chance to help West Virginia progress.

Helene R. Brill
Martinsburg, W.Va.

14th Amendment needs to be amended for today's situation

To the editor:

In 1868, when the 14th Amendment became a part of our Constitution, the purpose was to ensure the rights and citizenship of blacks and their descendants after the Civil War with the abolishment of slavery.

Section one of the amendment states, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

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