Letters to the Editor - Aug. 16

August 16, 2012

Cyberbullying knows no boundaries

To the editor:

Grace was smart, funny, loving, kind, sensitive, caring, bullied. And this is where we are today — mourning her death and advocating for others who might be suffering from similar emotional attacks. Where is the humanity? Where is the kindness? How could this happen within my family? What a devastating loss.

Grace was 15 when she committed suicide this past Easter morning.

Certainly, bullying has been around since the dawn of time, however, cyberbullying is a newer kind of torture. 21st-century bullies have made our kids prisoners of their own existence. Cyberbullying can take place 24 hours per day, off school grounds and, as Grace’s mother put it, it is gossip and hatred at the speed of technology. It is invasive and pervasive, as others share the info. Additionally, ‘tweets’ and ‘posts’ cannot be erased in cyberspace. The hurt and pain never go away after the message is deleted. It is a constant source of torment. There is no walking away or hiding if you have a cell phone and/or one or more social media accounts.

Grace was tortured this way for eight months. Attempts to monitor messages on the Internet were in vain. She was eventually homeschooled, but she could not escape or avoid the cyberattacks and their resulting emotional devastation. Recent statistics show that some 20 percent of children and teens are victims of cyberbullying. Only a small percentage commit suicide, but it clearly does happen.

So, how can cyberbulling be prevented? You can view some tips that are available at It will be well worth your time.

Kate Booze
Marion, Pa.

Fairplay residents should offer helping hands

To the editor:

On July 31, the Washington County Commissioners voted to suspend authority for Fairplay Volunteer Co. to provide fire, rescue and emergency medical services.

For 65 years, people in the area living and working in homes, farms, churches, schools and businesses have been confident in our well-being based on the assumption that the volunteers in Fairplay were willing, able and dedicated to protecting our homes and our lives. A story in The Herald-Mail on July 30 indicated the County Commissioners suspended operation because Fairplay failed to respond to calls and/or did not arrive within the required 10-minute response time for at least 26.3 percent of calls issued.

I grew up in Fairplay and my parents were instrumental in building the fire company (literally) from the ground up. My father helped design and maintain the first truck made for the fire company, and he maintained or fabricated parts for every truck, pumper, pump, hose, nozzle and piece of equipment needed for the fire house (old and new) and for every piece of equipment needed for the annual Fairplay Carnival. My mother, grandmother, aunts and sister baked 400 pies as members of the Fairplay Ladies Auxiliary. Pies and sandwiches were sold at the Hagerstown Fair in the early 1950s to raise funds for the new fire hall. 

Today, no one expects ANY volunteer to be that driven to ensure the success of any organization. But working together to ensure safety for your family, home, business and place of worship have been the elements on which most rural communities have prospered — Fairplay is no exception. We need to act now to get the Auxiliary and the fundraising events back on track. Every person in the area should offer a helping hand.

To those living and working within the jurisdiction of Fairplay Volunteer Fire Co., I ask you to think of your family and the investment you’ve made in your home and business. Aren’t they worth your attention? Fairplay needs your input, your dedication, your effort and your commitment. Get involved now. The gauntlet is down. Are you ready to volunteer to make a difference in your community?

Barbara Shipe

Chick-fil-A experience was a phenomenon

To the editor:

What was the phenomenon called Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012? It was a faith-filled experience, in fact, for me, I was so filled by God’s presence, I could not stop saying, “God Bless America!” as I was leaving. Even though extremely crowded, there was no profanity, no unkind words and even the kids were respectfully quiet. Many enjoyed the fun-center in the back. It was quiet enough for the workers to call out names when our orders were done and be heard.

According to the definition of phenomenon, it was a “rare event.” I hope that this is more of an awakening! The crowd, while I was there, conversed among themselves of the importance of no longer being silent about our Christian beliefs. I believe we have more of a right to say what we have said about marriage than our gay opponents. I believe our rights are God-given, not manufactured by men (all-inclusive to the ladies who help write those new manmade rules).

I caution those who choose to create and try to instill in our young people these false teachings that you will be held responsible! (Matthew 13: 36-43).

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has gone astray in his beliefs. Perhaps some of you from Maryland could locate your Chick-fil-A receipts and send it to him at 100 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401-1925. A note as to why you attended and that you are a voter will help him understand the receipt. If you can’t find the one from Aug. 1, just drop by again and send that one. He will get the idea.

May our God be blessed.

Patricia Patterson
Falling Waters, W.Va.

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