Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - August 15, 2008

Private schools offer a different option

What Jim Watkins said in his recent letter was a joke, right? That York County has great schools?

Compared to what?

Public education is not a foundation of our nation. The family is. According to recent assessments, our public education has fallen from among world leadership in the late 1960s to 11th or 12th internationally. Public education has in large part proved to be a failed social experiment that began essentially at the beginning of the 20th century.

It is commendable, Mr. Watkins, that you volunteer your time to work with the public school in some of its programs. I retired with 30 years' service in public education. From what I observed, the process was all too often an exercise in futility. On the other hand, private schools have their problems, also. Lack of funds is often one of them. However, these schools seldom if ever suffer the distractions of asocial behavior, threats to the safety of students and faculty requiring a police presence, unmotivated teachers, etc.

I really believe that Watkins needs to look honestly at the results produced by private and home schooling. Perhaps the light may dawn that parents who, with their children, are the foundation of our society and the democratic scheme of doing things, deserve the right to decide how, where and under what circumstances their offspring are to be educated.

Robert F. Davis

Fort Mill

Take dogs off the chains

The York County Council would be wise to support a law that would regulate dog chaining ("Breaking the chains," Aug. 4). A chaining law would not only give law enforcement authorities another tool to protect dogs from neglect and abuse, it also would help protect children from being attacked by dogs driven mad by constant confinement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that chained dogs are nearly three times more likely to attack than dogs who are not kept chained. According to another study, more than a fourth of fatal dog attacks are by dogs on chains. Last year, more than 60 people were injured or killed by chained dogs. Nearly 75 percent of the victims were children; 11 died in the attacks.

Dogs relegated to a chain or kennel 24 hours a day are often deprived of even the most basic care. Growing puppies often are found with too-small collars embedded in their necks because their owners never bothered to change them. Many dogs are denied adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care and suffer and die from injuries and diseases that could easily be prevented and treated.

Legislation regulating chaining helps dogs and people. Officials in the more than 115 jurisdictions around the country that have restricted or banned chaining report a lower number of dog bites and fewer cruelty cases since these laws passed.

Daphna Nachminovitch

Vice President, Cruelty Investigations

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Norfolk, Va.