Letters to the Editor

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By The Staff

Teachers are thrown under the bus

To the editor: The Courier-Journal recently published an article entitled, “Oldham schools to cut 50 teaching positions; enrollment didn’t meet expectations.”  The school superintendent Paul Upchurch thinks its due to a weakened economy.  I guess he didn’t see that coming at the beginning of the school year, when he got an 11-percent pay increase, bringing him to $174,000 a year.  Once again, this just doesn’t add up. Yet again, Oldham County teachers are being thrown under the “old” Oldham County school bus. Let’s do some math: the average Oldham County teacher makes $35,000 to $40,000 a year;  the school superintendent, $174,000 a year. Where do you think the “cut” would be better served?  If we cut some of the pork barrel spending out of the school system itself, our children would be better served. Oldham County did not get to be known for top quality schools because of an overpaid school superintendent or the overbuilt new schools. Education excels with our teachers. Oldham Countians pay dearly in taxes for the school system, its time we question where this money is going and make the superintendent and the school board held accountable for how our tax dollars are being spent. We have dedicated teachers that are underpaid and now losing jobs at the hands of mismanaged funds.  Oldham County will be the biggest loser if we don’t get this under control.   Donna Claggett, Goshen   Editor’s note: The following letters are written by students in Ryan Rembold’s class at Crestwood Elementary School. We encourage submissions from people of all ages. Send letters to news@oldhamera.com   Bullying is a problem in schools nationwide   To the editor: Hello, my name is Jenny and I am in fifth grade at Crestwood Elementary. I am also one of the many kids in America who are bullied so I am going to write about bullies and bullying. I’m writing to all those people who feel like they have a bully breathing down their neck. Bullying is one of the most underrated and serious problems in schools today. This brings me to my point that bullying is serious and we need to help stop it. The best way to help children not become victims of bullies is by teaching them bully-proofing skills. ... If bullying is making you afraid or very upset, have a teacher or another adult help you with a safety plan. You may have to change your route home, or avoid being where the bully is until the problem is solved. Don’t think of it as acting scared – think of it as acting smart. I think that would be a great idea. For example I ride the bus to school but that bully is on the bus in the morning and afternoon so I should ride in the car to school. 950,000 students across the United States bring weapons to school every month. You should not even have a gun that is in reach of children because that could be a danger to your child and others. But I’m not saying that you can’t or shouldn’t have a gun but just keep it out of reach of children.  OK kids, here is one of my tips for you, if there is a bully and he or she is constantly bullying you its OK to tell an adult and if they say they’re going to hurt if you tell on them just secretly tell an adult it’s OK. So bullying is bad and I hope that you are more aware of this problem and that we need to help stop it. Thanks for your time to read this.   Sincerely, Jenny   Allow students’ cell phones at school To the editor: I’m writing about bringing cell phones to school. I know what you are thinking, why should they be allowed to bring them? Well, I think they should be allowed to bring them because if something happens and the phones are down, then what are they going to do? Well if they have their cell phones, then that might come in handy, I know that teachers think that they might cheat on a test with them, that’s why they should at least have them off and in a backpack… Why are we always fighting technology? If cell phones are the most effective inputting device, then let’s figure out how to incorporate cell phones into our pedagogy. I can remember when we got our first car with a radio in it. At first, it was never used because my father thought listening to it would cause accidents. That opinion quickly changed after the first time he turned it on.  We have bigger issues to face in North American education than cell phones in the classroom. Students should be allowed to bring cell phones to school for parents need to know where their kids are a school lockdown; for use when school power is out or phone lines are occupied by other classmates; and for students to talk to someone if they are having a bad day. If students turn cell phones off during class, then that will silence the distractions to other students.  They’ll use the cell phone at lunch if necessary. Here is another example and this one that I kind of agree with, I can think of a compromise: When we go to a theater or concert, we’re allowed to bring a cell phone with us, but we’re asked to switch it off during the performance. Why not treat the classroom the same way? The clear rule would be this: no cell phone use during class. Students would be free to use their cell phones at other times, just not in class. …  So as much as we kids love cell phones and some parents think that it’s not something kids need, there are always reasons (and good reasons but sometimes we kids don’t know how to tell you ) for why we should have a cell phone even if you don’t think its a good reason. Now I hope this has changed your mind.   Sincerely, Jennifer   Physical activity is important for kids   To the editor: My name is Quinton and I want to talk to you about getting more physical activity because I think activity is very important.  Why we need more physical activity is it makes students smarter.  Here are some facts: you should exercise at least one hour a day; walking is better for you than running; playing is a good exercise; and you should try doing sports it’s a fun way to exercise. Physical activity makes people more fit so this letter could change a whole bunch of people’s lives. So world listen to this then it will change your life. Here are some suggestions on sports that you can do like cross country, soccer baseball and bicycling. Bicycling is a good way to get exercise and it helps the environment. Cross country and soccer are great running sports so you get lots of exercise. Don’t let your kids sit on the couch and be a couch potato make them go outside go to a friends house even if your kids like playing video games they can get a Wii, its good exercise.  When I was in cross country there was a few kids who could barely run because they were out of shape. If you want to really get in shape you should run and walk instead of using your car.  You should also think about eating healthy it will make you lose a few pounds. Swimming is my favorite sport you should try doing it you might have fun. So if you wanted to lose pounds you should remember this letter forever. Don’t forget to buy the Wii. Also don’t let your kids stay inside too long.   Sincerely, Quinton