Letters to the Editor

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By The Staff

Ban not cause of slumping sales

To the editor:Reading the article about the effect of the smoking ban on local restaurant businesses, I was surprised that the writer assumes that the ban is the only variable in the equation. To blame slumping sales on the smoking ban is not being very realistic. It would not matter if this had passed or not with the current economy. When families are spending so much more on fuel, food, and other necessities, eating out is a luxury many cannot afford.Personally, we eat out MORE often now then we did when smoking was permitted. When Jefferson County first passed the smoking ban, we ate there instead, though now, we eat locally as well.The manager of Ponderosa cited the smoking ban as a reason for his slumping sales. As a non-smoker, I detested eating there because one had to pass by the smokers upon entering and again when leaving the restaurant. We ate there after the ban and found out that the food quality was not as good as in the past.When money is tight, people are picky about where they spend it. Ponderosa now has more competition and people are choosing to spend their food dollars elsewhere in La Grange where the food is better. It has nothing to do with smoking.It is easy to make comparisons of sales before and after the ban, but in doing so, do not forget that there has been a much larger variable than the smoking — the economy.Barbara Creasy,La GrangeMontgomery familyonly wants what’s bestTo the editor:As a retired special education teacher of Oldham County Schools, I must express my embarrassment of our school system in the treatment of my cousin’s family — Matthew Montgomery and his mother, Jeanie Montgomery.Matthew, his father, brother and Jeanie join us each year for the holidays. When they arrive Jeanie and Bobby usually take time to sit with Matthew until he gets used to the new surroundings. The worst that has ever happened is that he managed to go up the steps to a room that was being renovated and didn’t make for a good play area.For those who have offered harsh criticism; have you walked in their shoes? Our family only wants the best for Matthew. That is all.I pray that God guides and direct those making decisions for Matthew.Betty Nevitt Stringer,CrestwoodDistrict respondsto allegationsTo the editor:Over the past several weeks there have been a number of negative stories in the news media concerning Oldham County schools’ treatment of a third-grade student in our district. The media coverage on this story has been pervasive, damaging to the district and largely one-sided. It has prompted community members and others outside this district to personally and maliciously attack our teachers, principals and administrators. Our community, our parents and our teachers deserve a firm and unequivocal response to the allegations made in the media reports.Oldham County schools pride themselves on providing an excellent educational experience and outcome for all students, including exceptional education students at all levels. Compliance with state and federal laws, as well as our educational obligation to each student, continues to be of paramount importance. Every student receiving special education services has an individually designed plan of instruction that includes a behavioral plan agreed upon by the student’s parent. It is not the district’s practice to take behavioral interventions without prior parental consent or without constant monitoring. Communication with our parents on the individual needs of their children is a vital component in the successful learning environment we hope to create for all students. We maintain that all Oldham County schools are safe schools and the district would never support any policy that might physically harm a child in any manner. To the extent that the news media have contended otherwise, the district vigorously denies these allegations.Due to the laws surrounding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the district is unable to comment on individual student matters. This puts the district at a disadvantage when parents present their complaints to the public through reporters. The law establishes administrative and judicial forums for parents to address their concerns in cases where they have disagreements with the district. These are the proper forums for resolving disputes with not only the district, but any public agency decision by which citizens feel aggrieved. As for the case recently reported in the media, the district looks forward to the opportunity to fully and accurately present the facts in the appropriate forum.It is the district’s long-standing policy to continue to work with every student and family in Oldham County to achieve the greatest educational outcome possible. As such, our doors remain open to reaching a satisfactory resolution with the family referenced in the article, or any family having concerns.Paul Upchurch, Superintendent