Speak Out 11/02/03

Sunday, November 2, 2003

TO THE individual who argued that high menu prices hold tips down: If prices are so outrageously high, why are the restaurants in Cape Girardeau constantly filled with patrons day in and day out? Your argument does not hold up to the facts. Restaurant prices are reasonable. Competition between restaurants is helping the customer.

Breath of fresh air

I AM impressed with the eloquent opinion columns so far this week. It's like a breath of fresh air and sanity suddenly blew through the editorial offices.

Paying educators

EXCUSE ME. Teachers do pay taxes that go for bailouts of banks, low-interest rebuilding loans after disasters and welfare payments. Many educators have as much business knowledge as people who own, run and work in retail and customer-relations professions. With a lack of adequate raises, we have had to take second jobs to supplement our incomes to properly provide for our families. When you look at the average income of educators, they are including the salaries of the administrators to calculate that average. It's not a true figure.

Running a business

TO THE businessman who says he has the right to tell teachers how to do their job because he pays taxes but they don't pay his taxes: If you have the right to tell them how to do their job just because you pay taxes, then anyone who does business with you should have the right to tell you how to run your business.

School qualifications

JUST BECAUSE you pay taxes does not mean you are qualified to run a school system or judge curriculum or policy. If that were the case, we wouldn't need superintendents, financial officers and others to run the daily business of a school. And while we're at it, I do pay taxes that support your business. If you think this through logically, the consumer pays the corporations taxes when he makes a purchase.

Why scores are low

THE FRONT page of the Southeast Missourian reports schools are trying to cut their budgets dramatically. And we all know about the poor performance on MAP scores in this area. My belief is that it's not money that's the issue in the schools. It's the lack of parental involvement with their children. No amount of money will solve that. Parents, get involved with your children. Don't use the TV as a baby sitter. Turn it off. The study by the Kaiser Foundation indicates that watching TV is one of the worst things that kids can do. The story from the Associated Press that TV is a "junk experience" for children should -- but probably won't -- get much attention from American parents. You want to help your kids learn? Turn off the TV. TV stunts the development of young minds.

Regulating septic tanks

HOW DARE you. The county commissioners should remember who elected them. It wasn't the plumbers and heating and air people, that is for sure. They're the ones who are going to benefit from these so-called permits for septic tanks. Why don't you just leave us in the county alone?

Lack of attention

I WOULD like to comment about the MAP testing. I have a son who had a seizure disorder when he was an infant and is just a little behind in school. My husband and I had a meeting with his teacher, whose exact words were, "We just do not have the time to spend with him." I feel I should take him out of school and teach him myself. If you are behind, it is a burden on teachers because they are trying to prepare the other children for the MAP testing. When I was in grade school, there was a special class for the kids who needed extra help. I would like to know if there are other parents like me who are thinking of home schooling their kids for this or any other reason. Maybe if all of us parents with kids who need extra help home schooled our kids, teachers and schools would care more since they would no longer get the money from the state for our children attending their schools.

Role models

I AM a parent of two high school children. Already they have been exposed to cigarettes, drugs, alcohol and various other things. To the person who stated that since children are exposed to these things, it doesn't matter what the staff and teachers do. It does. I certainly would not want the teachers at my son's high school to light up in class with the opinion that since they've seen it already, who cares? What a ridiculous statement.

Smoking at youth center

I AM a former member of the staff at the Sears Youth Center. The only restrictions placed on smokers were that they could not smoke in the buildings. After speaking with a current staff member there, I am told that because of the recent publicity the policies are in the process of being rewritten. I find it rather disheartening that what would appear to be a SYC staff member would make such derogatory comments about the youths and their parents and then try to justify that action.

They should teach

THIS IS in response to the teacher who said parents should attend school three days and students two days to get test scores higher. Teachers should realize that most parents have been out of school for several years, and the curriculum has changed dramatically. Teachers should concentrate more on classroom work than expecting parents, who are not teachers, to do the work for them. There is way too much homework assigned. It is harmful to the child to receive help from someone who isn't as well-versed in the subject as the teacher. Teachers couldn't come in and do my job. Why should we do theirs?

Hidden costs

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI State University employees who are considering early retirement need to take note of the second consecutive year of massive increases in health-insurance premiums for retirees under 65. Can they really afford to pay $17,000 a year for themselves and their spouse? Maybe the university ought to stop touting early retirement and start looking at fair practices.

Wildlife refuge

THE HIGHWAY interchange at Scott City would make a great place for a wildlife refuge. It wouldn't cost MoDOT a single taxpayer dollar. All MoDOT would have to do is to keep doing what they're already doing: nothing. I feel sorry for the poor people who live near the St. Louis and Jefferson City areas. There's no way they'll ever have a wildlife refuge. They mow too often.

Fresh air

WHEN IT comes to autumn leaves in Cape Girardeau County, I say churn them, don't burn them. Let Cape breathe.

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