Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - August 31, 2007

Miss Teen South Carolina represents her state

Let's all give Miss Teen South Carolina a break. She answered her question beautifully. As a product of South Carolina schools, Lauren Caitlyn Upton, 17, was uniquely qualified to articulate the dire realities of public education in our country. Miss Teen S.C. clearly explained why so many young people can't locate the U.S. on a map -- because they don't know what a map is. She painfully exposed our young people's desire to understand and improve the world, "Iraq, South Africa, and such as," while being intellectually unprepared to do so.

This embarrassing spotlight on the state came the same week it was reported that our state ranks 49th nationally in SAT scores (49th out of 50, for those of us who don't know how many states there are). We've all had a good laugh at Upton's expense, but let's recognize her lack of preparedness as symptomatic of our ailing education system.

Though we may laugh when we watch this rambling and incoherent excuse for a simple opinion, maybe we should also pause to evaluate her answer and realize how eloquently she communicated the flaws in our system. She highlighted the inadequacies of American education far beyond what was asked in the question.

If our young people can't answer simple random questions, then what decisions, what choices are they capable of making? Let's remember Miss Teen S.C.'s eloquence when we budget for our school district in the coming years.

Bryan Ghent

Rock Hill

Help pay for school supplies

OMG! You have to be kidding. If I read one more article, letter or anything else about parents, uncles, aunts or caregivers complaining about school supplies and the costs or teachers complaining about technology, I will scream.

First, for the school supplies, in a district where teachers get less than $300 to handle a classroom that may have 30 students or more, how much do you expect to pay for supplies? I have two boys at Finley Road Elementary and am an avid supporter of the teachers, staff and faculty. I have several friends who are part of teaching staff, principals' staff and faculty at several schools in our district that are passionate about education and would probably spend their last dime on making sure both the students have what they need and to be sure the class has all the supplies that are needed.

We should be seeing how we can get more money for the teachers to have as a stipend to supply the classroom. Now, as soon as someone says raise the taxes for education, you would really get upset, so it seems easier to just buy a few more supplies until teachers can get more money for the classroom.

I am willing to bet that if you cannot buy something on the list, the teacher would make his or her best effort to make sure your child has what he or she needs.

It concerns me that someone would even complain about buying supplies for their own children or children they take care of. They are your children. I guess if the schools all go to uniforms, you will want someone to help you pay for the uniforms, also.

What about the letter about technology? It is the year 2007, and we, as a district, are already behind the curve. I don't think anyone is suggesting that we get rid of teachers, but technology is part of this generation. A few hours a week cannot possibly result in getting rid of the teachers.

We need to be praying for a successful, safe school year and stop complaining about the things that are helping the children succeed.

Success isn't free; it is is paid for in installments daily.

Travise Smith

Rock Hill

Thieves didn't consider victims

Sometime in July, a chest of silverware was taken from my home. It wasn't sterling, just silverplate and therefore didn't have lot of resale value, but it had untold sentimental value to me.

I wonder if the person(s) who took it cared that my husband had refinished the chest and given it to me for our first anniversary.

I wonder if they cared that there were baby spoons also in the chest given to our children when they were born.

I wonder if they cared that I'd had the silverware for over four decades and that I'm heartbroken. Of course not.

I'm sure that all they cared about was getting a little money for crack.

Sarah D. Carlisle

Tega Cay