Letters to the Editor - Sept. 13

September 13, 2011

Our school systems are failing our children

To the editor:

Oh, it’s that time again. Back to school we go. This is really going to date me.

School starting was really hard for me. Directions being understood and sounding a word out to spell a word — well, I looked around and was lost. My sixth-grade year, I ended up with the top 10 percent of our 400 graduating class.

One big thrill on the first day of school was not necessarily the books, but a tablet and a No. 2 yellow pencil that had to be sharpened by turning around and around the pencil sharpener. We lined up as a class to use the bathroom and didn’t dare disturb other classes. There was another line for drinking water.

Our parents didn’t pay for protractors, crayons, rulers, erasers and pens. And who ever heard of magic markers and calculators, let alone a computer?

Parents today with one to four children are paying a bundle for supplies. Don’t forget style and that right pair of shoes. Too much emphasis is put on the style scene — that they will have outgrown by December. Retailers are thrilled. Why not shop carefully at a thrift shop, where you can make the profit.

Why such expenses, and cuts in teachers and programs? Meeting the highest score at the end-of-semester testing seems to define students and teachers.

It’s a sin to cut teachers who are there to really help children learn of the world, and teach them the everyday skills and help them fulfill their potential. I have seen teenagers unable to count money and write a correct sentence.

The system is failing the kids. We no longer see the importance of learning in our country. Millions of dollars are being spent, but what about our kids? It seems we are centered not for the good of our children and their futures and our country.  

Teachers were always underpaid, for it is priceless to inspire children to be independent and make a contribution to a better society.

Carol L. Bishop
Fairfield, Pa.

Americans should be thankful for tea party

To the editor:

In response to Tim Rowland’s column regarding the tea party movement across the United States, we, the Hagerstown tea party, would like to set the record straight.

The members of the grassroots tea party represent Americans from all walks of life; Democrats, Independents, Republicans, old and young, rich and poor. We are the people!   

We the people are fed up with irresponsible government spending and waste. We the people want our elected officials to be accountable to the people that they represent. We the people are committed to preserving the Constitution of the United States as the “playbook” for  government. We the people are ready for change in Washington, and we will persevere to ensure that the Constitution prevails. “The extremists” are those who have sacrificed American core values and are suggesting violence.

The mission statement of the Hagerstown tea party best describes our goals and objectives:

“We the people of the Hagerstown tea party are a nonpartisan group of patriots concerned about government infringement of our individual rights and liberties. We strive to hold elected government officials accountable by encouraging citizens to be involved in local, state and national governing processes. We promote patriotism, capitalism and free markets, as well as, personal and fiscal responsibility. We believe it is important to preserve and uphold the Constitution of the United States, as well as, the freedom and liberties granted to us by our Creator.”

No mention of anger or terror, just preserving our rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.  

Let’s hope that we’ve not “had enough of the tea party;” instead, Americans should be thankful that the tea party has evolved. The tea party must now act as the government watchdog since the media has long since abandoned principles practiced by Bernstein and Woodward (Washington Post, Watergate). No longer is the media capable of being an objective medium to hold government accountable or to report on issues without bias.

Nancy Allen
The Hagerstown tea party

‘Fall Prevention Awareness Day’ planned for seniors

To the editor:

Had a tumble down frequently used steps lately? Or a fall off a commonly used step-up stool in your kitchen? These are only two commonly reported causes from frustrated victims of home-based accidental falls. In fact, injury or even death caused by falling ranks high on the list of fatal accidents of seniors in this country.

Fortunately, our Washington County Senior Center, in cooperation with four other agencies, is sponsoring a free “Fall Prevention Awareness Day” at its Girls Inc. location (626 Washington Ave.) on Wednesday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This event will feature informational seminars and demonstrations on prevention techniques of accidental falls.  Other seminars are: how to reduce risks; balance and gait assessment; vision screening; hearing screening; blood pressure checks; medication reviews; disposal of expired/unused prescriptions; resources for all seniors; and exercise demonstrations. Additionally, prizes, giveaways and light refreshments will be provided.

This event is sponsored by the Washington County Health Department, The Safe Communities Senior Fall Coalition, Washington County Commission on Aging, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and hosted by Senior Center Director Kathy Fisher and her staff and volunteers at the Center. The event is free, open to anyone over 55 years of age, requires no preregistration and provides free parking. For more information, call 240-33357.

Blanton Croft
Washington County Commission on Aging Advisory Council

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