Sept. 25, 2003
Parental involvement needed in schools
To the editor:
I have never written in response to any article before, but when I saw the action plan for Carver and Kate Griffin Schools, I had to write. Not a one of the plans to elevate scores states anything about parent involvement. This cannot be done by the school alone; this is apparent in the test scores.
I attended Carver and Kate Griffin. In my opinion, they need before-school help; for instance, a reading program before school or an after-school program for those that are "behind."
I was visiting Meridian recently and every day there was some type of altercation at Carver Middle School. Where are these kids' parents?
If they are walkers they should be released at a certain time and made to start walking to wherever they are going. If they ride the bus, they should get on the bus and the bus driver should know who is supposed to be riding his/her bus by now. Also ask for volunteers from parents to monitor students in the morning and the afternoons, if this is too much for the teachers.
I will gladly volunteer anytime I am in Meridian.
GOP chairman complains of column
To the editor:
I am writing in response to a column of Terry Cassreino ("Newton's campaign takes questionable turn," The Meridian Star, Sept. 21, 2003) in which Terry incorrectly states that the attorney general of Mississippi has no role to play in the tort reform battle that is ongoing in Mississippi.
In his column, Terry incorrectly states that "the issue doesn't work" in the attorney general's race because (quoting the present Democrat attorney general), "This office is predominantly a defense firm. We actually defend state agencies … Generally, the attorney general's office doesn't have anything to do with (civil justice) reform policy issues."
Finally, after swallowing this Democrat position, hook, line and sinker, Terry states that Scott Newton, the Republican candidate for attorney general, "miscalculated" when he made tort reform an issue in the campaign, and went on to praise Scott's Democrat opponent (Mike Moore's hand-picked successor) for addressing issues that the attorney general could do something about.
The truth is that the present attorney general was chiefly responsible for introducing lawsuit abuse in this state by partnering in his role as attorney general with private lawyers to sue tobacco companies, thus making them instant millionaires. These lawsuits, which led to other "mass-tort litigation" resulted in the reaction by the general public calling for tort reform in this state because of lawsuit abuse.
The attorney general's office was missing in action and failed to speak out in the tort reform debate on whether we should reform our court system in the last legislative session. It failed to speak out in the congressional redistricting debate against the outrageous Democrat tornado plan that would have defeated Congressman Chip Pickering. It failed to speak out in favor of voter ID, which is the best tool for election reform in existence.
We need an attorney general, like Republican Scott Newton, who will exert leadership and change the direction of the attorney general's office and not hide behind a false premise that the attorney general has no role to play in tort reform, congressional redistricting, or voter ID.
James H. Herring
Enough filth on TV
To the editor:
In answering Michael Harrison's letter ("How about choice TV?" The Meridian Star, Sept. 23, 2003) regarding WTOK not airing "NYPD Blue" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," I appreciate their stand. We have enough filth on TV now without adding these two. Keep up the good work WTOK!
Stopping for funeral processions can be dangerous
To the editor:
I saw a funeral procession today as I do many days in Meridian, but that is not all I saw. If not sooner, it may be today for all I know, along about the year 2028 I will die. That is if I live as long as one of these "How long will you live?" tests on the Internet says I will.
Assuming anyone shows up for my funeral, once the minister has given my farewell speech, the mourners and others will take to their cars and get in line behind the hearse for the inevitable funeral procession. It is usual for this to take place around 1 or 2 in the afternoon and as the hearse driver pulls onto the highway, lights on, heading for my final resting place all the other cars will follow in like manner.
Since I plan on dying, or at least being buried, in the South (plant my bones under a Magnolia tree), I believe I can foretell the future as regards one detail about the funeral procession. That is the fact of the Southern tradition where all cars and trucks that aren't in the funeral party, whether coming or going, will stop and wait until the very last of the funeral party cars has passed. (Some of those may do as I do and touch a button for good luck as the hearse passes.)
This practice of stopping for the funeral procession is a Southern thing. I can imagine that back in the horse and buggy days it became a tradition that has carried over. The difference is that back then people were probably walking and thus determined to stop and stand still as a sign of respect. Now we have monstrous vehicles plodding the highways that can run a person over.
I hope that I will not be viewed in ill regard as to this next thing I am revealing about myself I don't stop my car for funeral procession unless I can't get through the traffic jam it has caused. I used to stop just like everybody else, before I read of a fatal automobile accident that occurred a number of years ago on Highway 15 South of Newton. It happened to a family that had stopped on the highway as a funeral procession passed. An 18-wheeler, going at a high rate of speed, topped a hill and could stop in time to avoid hitting the family's car.
From that day forward, I have made a conscious effort not to stop for funeral processions. On today's highways, it is just too dangerous.
Don't neglect physical education in schools
To the editor:
Prompted by an article on the front page of The Meridian Star, I would like to make the following comments concerning the status of physical education/fitness in the public schools today.
It appalls me to think that we have stooped to this level of thinking about the value of physical education (not just the letters PE) in our current valuing of education. Do we not realize that our country is faced with a serious problem of under-fit persons and particularly our youth?
The physical part of our education is totally involved in the whole process. Have we not learned anything from all of the studies before us? A healthy, fit body is much more conducive to learning than an unfit body.
Many of our young people cannot afford to go to camps to learn skills that enable them to participate effectively in activities. Please do not take this away from the public schools.
The number of students that qualify for the varsity teams is limited. We do not need to neglect the masses. It is tragic enough that the colleges have dropped some of their fitness/physical education requirements. Let us not follow that lead.
Education is all inclusive, and the physical segment is most basic. Please think about this before you act.
Retired health, physical
education, dance, recreation and water instructor (MCC)