October 29, 2013

Letter: It didn’t have to be this way

A group of local middle school students snort a new type of candy and are given three days of in-school suspension as punishment for implying drug usage, a violation of school policy.

While reasonable people could debate the merits of this, the fact is that school administrators have few options these days. Corporal punishment was banned years ago; keeping them after school creates logistical problems; keeping little ones in at recess opens up the school to lawsuits, so what’s left? Writing sentences? That one bit the dust when I was teaching years ago. Sending them to the principal’s office? They can’t do much either in a lot of jurisdictions, so we are left with in-school suspension.

But it didn’t have to be this way. In the early 1980s President Reagan proposed putting the nation on a voucher plan. For those unfamiliar with the concept, the parents are given a check or voucher from the state, city or county that their child resides in. They in turn use the money as tuition for a private or parochial school. Any parent still wishing to send his or her child to a public school simply declines the voucher.

What happened? As you might imagine, legislators in all but two or three states caved in to pressure from teachers unions before the programs had a chance to start. Who suffered from this maintaining the status quo? The students more than anyone, who could have received a superior education had the great plan been implemented, with far less need for punitive measures like in-school suspension.

Charles Hyder


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  • Move carefully, but soon

    No one intended for it to happen. No one had any bad motives.
    But during a period of 40 years or more, quite a few people didn’t do enough planning, didn’t have enough foresight to see what all of the development in Dalton would do.

    July 27, 2014

  • Local school systems must bear costs of federal immigration failure

    No word. No warning. Little help.
    That’s what Dalton Public Schools officials received from the federal government when it dropped 30 Central American students into local classrooms last school year.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sacrifices worth honoring

    Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.

    July 24, 2014

  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014

  • Letter: Control immigration

    Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?

    July 23, 2014

  • Helping with Book Blast betters the community

    The school test results are in, and students in Whitfield and Murray counties mostly improved from a year ago, mirroring or exceeding average scores of their peers.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mark Millican: Guns are already everywhere

    Though it happened over 30 years ago, the image is still vivid.

    July 22, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Former officer works overtime improperly

    Stephen F. Hall has pleaded guilty to theft by deception and falsifying a government record.

    July 22, 2014

  • Dalton council should seek answers

    Judicial elections in this area are usually pretty staid. In fact, they are generally nonexistent, since most judges run unopposed.

    July 21, 2014

  • Letter: Something to think about

    It has been better than four months now since Malaysia Flight 370 went missing. During that time we have heard all kinds of speculation, conjecture and opinions as to what happened to it. The only certainties to emerge are that the Malaysians fumbled the ball early on and there are some understandably distressed loved ones left to deal with their losses.

    July 21, 2014