Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - June 24, 2008

Some people never grow up

Your columnist, Andrew Dys, has a much narrower view of the graduation incident that occurred than the "boring, mindless" people he tries to demonize in his column. What a shortsighted view of the story this columnist has.

Every person in attendance was clearly instructed to hold all applause until after the ceremony was complete. For Mr. Dys to suggest that those who show respect, decency and common courtesy to others are mindless, boring and obviously all part of some well-to-do country club is as ignorant an opinion as I have ever read.

Showing basic acts of respect to others in a public setting has nothing to do with belonging to a multimillion-dollar tennis club, and it is not snobbish or boorish behavior, as Mr. Dys implies. It is really nothing more than manners, and in practically every aspect of our culture it is becoming apparent that more people lack them. It's not a result of financial status. It is a result of your upbringing, privileged or not.

The real issue here is that most people mature as they grow up, some slower than others, but you hope it happens before they have children to raise and care for. Unfortunately, there is an ever-increasing population, the group Mr. Dys defends, that don't move beyond the behavior of a 3-year-old. These are the people who have to be asked to show respect, are unable to follow simple instructions and still cause interruptions at a ceremony.

The behavior Mr. Dys defends has its place at a rap concert, football game, monster truck rally or mosh pit, but not a graduation.

Todd Lillibridge

Rock Hill

People should respect rights of others

The founding fathers had a legitimate concern about the democracy of the mob when they formulated the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

For those nearly sacred documents, we revere the authors for their wisdom in creating the compromise we rule ourselves by today. Dr. Saye, in her recent letter, apparently enjoys the sight, sound and smell of the mob.

Just as one doesn't have the right to yell "fire" in a crowded theater, so the authorities at local high schools have the responsibility to curtail undue and untimely noise at graduation exercises. More pertinent, one doesn't have the right to subject others, in public, to listen to their music based upon our inability to close our ears.

Graduations are quite similar. We can't turn our hearing off as an overly exuberant relative hoots and hollers in recognition of a graduate. Yes, graduating from high school remains a major milestone in our lives, especially in South Carolina, yet why does our justified pride in our children need the exposition of a yell? I wonder if the yeller needs to prove his pride to the audience as well as to his progeny?

As to Saye's allegation of tyranny by teachers, she must be reminded of basic common courtesy. Just as she may control the behavior of her own children when in public so as not to impair the rights of others to, say, enjoy a meal, teachers have the responsibility of giving equal recognition to each of their graduates.

Sean Coady


Discipline lacking at graduation

Graduation was out of control. Respect and discipline seem to be lost. A few should not mess up graduation.

I have lost any respect for Rush Limbaugh. I agree with free speech, but don't agree with disrespect. I say keep this up. Fort Mill High School Principal Dee Christopher did a good job.

Charlie E. Fox

Rock Hill

Decision made not to cheer

My son graduated from Rock Hill High School this year. I was thrilled to be able to see this, as this was the first and youngest of my three children I was able to see graduate. My very first statement was, "They are going to hear me cheer all the way to Florida when they call his name." I then read the letter the school sent home and was very disappointed to learn that you where not allowed to cheer until after the ceremony. I thought, "Well, they can walk me out, because I've been waiting a long time for this."

Later, I thought with the help of their teachers, they did all the work and had waited a long time as well.

For the last 12 years, I had always told my children to do as they where told by the school and teachers. Now, the school was asking me to wait to celebrate and cheer until all the children had been recognized.

So, there I was, faced with the very thing I had preached all 12 years, to respect the school and the teachers, or be selfish and self-serving. The event was wonderful, no one yelled, and it went very smoothly. At the end, everyone cheered and applauded for at least five minutes to a deserving class of 2008.

My nephew graduated the same weekend in Florida. When my mother and sister saw the DVD I had made of our ceremony they where amazed at how nice it was. They had gone to my nephew's and were not able to hear his or anyone else's name announced. They said the whole thing was just a mess and too noisy to enjoy, and it lasted 5 1/2 hours with far fewer students.

So, this proud parent says job well done to the school district, and thank you.

Paul Church

Rock Hill

People should mind their manners

Perhaps if people remembered their manners, such strict rules and consequences would not be necessary at public ceremonies such as the recent graduation exercises. Practically all the ills of our society can be traced to the lack of manners and the daily displays of selfish behavior.

Folks are in such a hurry. We all need to make the choice to slow down, think about things before we act, and be kind and thoughtful of others. Then we can all enjoy the time we have here together. It takes only a few seconds to be gracious. Let someone go ahead of you in line, hold a door for the person behind you, or pick up trash left behind by others. Little things do matter, and they add up in a big way.

As for the graduation ceremonies, the rules were clearly stated and clearly carried out. It is sad that adults can present such an immature example at a function that celebrates children's maturation.

Nancy Monts-Rayfield

Rock Hill

Nation turning away from God

Please let me be blunt, plain and to the point. America has always been a nation free to all people and the freedom to worship God. But this freedom is gradually being taken away by our government, judges and organizations. They are telling us where, when and how we can pray and worship. In some schools, you cannot even say the name of Jesus.

In California, the governor has signed into law that gender segregation is no longer allowed. Books are no longer permitted to say mom and dad. Husband or wife. Can you believe this? And get this, the reason is, it is discriminatory. Our young people don't have a chance if we don't lift them up in prayer.

Our world has become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. We are living in very trying and perilous times. Everywhere you look, there is heartache, hunger, sadness and sickness. Add to that the hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes. And they are increasing in fierceness.

Murder has become a casual day-to-day activity. Babies are being murdered -- oh, excuse me, I mean aborted -- every day without ever knowing what their potential might have been.

Morals have been pushed aside for anything goes. Nakedness is an in thing now. If you don't believe me, open you eyes when you go shopping anywhere.

God can and will bring judgment on any nation or people that willfully ignore his teachings.

Our nation needs to clean itself up and return to God.

Elaine Threatt

Rock Hill

OK license plates, but tax churches

If Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer feels the lawsuit challenging his legislation to create the "I Believe" license plates discriminates against people of faith, then I can offer a simple solution for him. Added to his legislation should be full and complete taxes on the very Christian churches his tag promotes, just like any other South Carolina business.

This way, everyone wins. People of faith can have their license plate to display, and the rest of us won't feel quite so bad about the government diverting public funds to favor a particular religion because the community will benefit from significant additions to our tax revenue. Revenue desperately needed to build and pave roads, hire more police and firefighters, increase pay for teachers and improve our abysmal excuse for public schools.

If Mr. Bauer wants to eliminate separation of church and state, then he must be willing to put churches on the tax rolls. He and the rest of his ilk, who erroneously believe our founding fathers were predominantly Christians and founded this nation on that faith, can't have it both ways.

If our founding fathers returned today, they would laugh hysterically at this farce and be rewarded by the fact that their Constitution does, in fact, protect this great nation from this idiocy and the political pandering to the Christian Right.

Stephanie McBride