Speak Out 01/20/04

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Inappropriate movie

HOW IS it possible that two teachers can take a group of students in grades nine through 12 to see the R-rated movie "Bad Santa"? Have you read the reviews? It is not appropriate for ninth- and 10th-graders. Eleventh- and 12th-graders do not need to see it either.

Education plan

DUMBING DOWN? That has been in the works for some 25 years since people outside of the field of education thought they knew best how to educate children, since parents began taking the side of the children and wanting to sue at the drop of a hat, telling their children they don't have to do anything they don't want to instead of backing teachers. Teaching to the test is occurring in most schools because state legislators are playing education like a puppetmaster. Face it, not all children have the capacity to learn all that school has to offer. Let's have schools teach the 3 R's for the first three years in school, county superintendents spend the same amount of money spent on every student in the entire state, legislators who have been educators for at least 10 years making the laws for education and the same salary schedule for all teachers in all the public school systems throughout the state. Then you would see, after a generation, significant, honest changes in test scores and learning by our children.

They pay taxes too

TO THE individual who wants to fire all teachers who have children in private schools: Where would the public schools put all these children? What would happen if all private schools closed? When will the light bulb go on for society? These same parents pay taxes too and choose to spend additional family money to educate their children in a religious setting.

All about money

THE MORE I watch the Cape Girardeau School Board meetings on TV the more I'm convinced school board members really do serve the best interests of the community as a whole. The folks who complain about possible cuts have a vested, often narrow, financial interest in seeing that a particular position or program is preserved. On the other hand, the board is doing a good job of looking at the big picture. If you want a general rule of thumb as to the motives of most critics, it is simple: Follow the money.

Shorthanded police

IT'S NO wonder Cape Girardeau was the target of a bank robbery. We've been broadcasting to the entire region that our police department is shorthanded. I hope Cape will find the funds to bring our police force into the 21st century soon.

Looking for drama

IF YOU look closely at the picture you ran in the newspaper about anti-globalization protesters at the Summit of the Americas, you will notice that it shows about 11 protesters and 14 photographers and reporters around them. That's hilarious. Because of media coverage, these protesters destroy and vandalize and claim they're doing it for a higher cause. All media people want is conflict, because it's dramatic. Shame on you.

Don't want union

I THINK it's disgraceful that the governor is making state employees choose between paying union fees or losing their jobs. It's clear from the number of people who signed up that mental health workers overwhelmingly don't want the union around.

Hey, big spender

THE PRESIDENT wants to spend billions of dollars on new NASA projects. He recently invited illegal aliens to be guests in the United States to take jobs here. He has just pushed through a costly drug plan with no mechanism for paying for it. He is waging an expensive war in Iraq. He has, in fact, created the biggest budget deficit in history from a budget surplus given to him. My conservative friends for years have argued that such actions come from tax-and-spend, give-jobs-away liberal Democrats. Apparently, President Bush is the biggest tax-and-spend liberal in the history of our country.

Help the sheriff

SHERIFF JOHN Jordan has had his hands tied by the county commission for too long, and the county suffers for it. Most times there is only one officer available to cover the entire county. The officers are extremely underpaid. The commissioners make more than double what a deputy makes and don't ever have their lives on the line. Give Jordan what he needs to take care of the prisoners and take care of the taxpayers.

Emphasis on religion

I AM an educator in a public school who has a child attending a parochial school. The quality of education offered in the public schools is excellent. The teachers I work with are superb and do everything they can to help the students and to provide quality education. I do not send my children to a parochial school because it is a better education. My husband and I chose to place an emphasis on religion, spirituality and prayer in our home and lives. This is what the parochial school offers. I do not think that I should be discriminated against because I want to better the spiritual lives of my children. May God bless us all in these difficult times.

Unsightly old cars

IF CAIRO can clean up all its old cars in yards, Cape Girardeau could do the same thing. We've sure got a lot of old automobiles sitting around. It would be nice if the city could do something about it.

Signs aren't a problem

JACKSON IS a rural town. If temporary signs are allowed only for one or two weeks, some people will not see them. It might be two weeks or even a month before some folks get into town to see them. I really don't know what the signs hurt. Jackson is such a beautiful downtown. We know that businesses on the main roads need to stay competitive.

Emergency calls

I SEE only 8 percent of emergency calls in 2002 were from actual fires, according to the Southeast Missourian. So this should mean that we only need two fire trucks in Cape Girardeau. City council, quit trying to take our hard-earned money by thinking of charging for emergency medical calls.

Problems in Chaffee

AS A former police officer of the Chaffee Police Department, I laughed while reading the Southeast Missourian's article about the recent resignations. A few years ago, the city council was warned by me and fellow officers about internal problems. The council chose to ignore the problems. The department ultimately lost three good officers and a great chief. Maybe now things will get better.

Pothole and soft water

IS ANYBODY ever going to fill in the giant pothole at the corner of David Street and Melrose Avenue? And where is the soft water we have been paying millions of dollars for but haven't yet seen?

Cure cancer first

AS A family member who has seen cancer afflict parents and siblings, I can only cringe at President Bush's idea of spending billions to go to Mars instead of cancer research.

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