Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - August 19, 2007

Who should pay for school supplies?

As an aunt of two nephews in the local schools, I decided to help purchase some of their school supplies for this upcoming year. To my surprise, I found items on each of their respective lists I felt should not have been the responsibility of parents to purchase. Their lists included items such as reams of copy paper, specific colors and types of folders, binders and notebooks (causing parents to be on a scavenger hunt). Not to even mention the cleaning supplies and snack monies they were asking for.

As I later found out, my nephew's teacher last year, "required" that each of her classes have a certain colored binder, which differentiated her classes from each other. For those who cannot remember, school started last year on a Wednesday and this teacher was asking that the binders be brought to class by Friday of that same week. She also indicated that failure to bring in the binder by that time would result in points being deducted from a grade. How insane, not to mention insensitive!

The teacher ended up not giving out the consequences because apparently the item had been a hot commodity and there were none to be found. Imagine the inconvenience of those parents, including my sister, trying to meet such a demand. For many parents, trying to prepare children for their return to school can be a costly task. Many parents are unaware that the state gives teachers at least $250 a year to purchase supplies and items for their classrooms. Some school districts actually match this amount ... imagine that.

For teachers to ask parents to supply them with items such as copy paper, paper towels, hand soap, just to name a few, is absurd. Of course, there will be some critics who will take offense and say that teachers don't make a lot of money to start with, therefore believing their supply requests are justified. But it should not be the responsibility of a parent, guardian, aunt, uncle or whomever to supply a teacher's class with copy paper or many of the other items that they ask for.

What is far more upsetting is that for the parents who fail to meet the demands of the supply list, their children have already been "labeled" before they even have a chance. There are far too many parents who won't be able to afford a pack of notebook paper. However, there will be those who will go over and beyond to make certain their children have and even see to it that other children have what is necessary. There will even be those who will care less if their child has anything.

Then, of course, there will be those like me, sending only what they believe is necessary for being successful in the classroom: notebook, paper and pencils.

Danica A. Jarrett

Rock Hill

Only the handicapped should use parking spaces

This letter is regarding the handicapped parking spaces. I have sat and watched people parking in spaces designated for the handicapped, and certainly many of them were not handicapped. That is not to say that they didn't display a handicap placard, and even some of these were out of date.

The people parking in these spaces are certainly very inconsiderate to park where they shouldn't. The handicap placard doesn't give the right to park in these spaces unless the person it was issued is in the vehicle.

I saw on CNN Headline News that they were cracking down on this violation and the people who were caught parking illegally in the handicapped spaces had their placards confiscated and were fined $500.

I would encourage the local and county police to take this issue seriously and monitor this situation in the York County area. This is really getting out of hand. Many times these spaces are filled, and there is no room for the handicapped to park!

I am sure that the fines collected would make the effort worth the time of the officers involved.

John Whitmire

Rock Hill