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Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

Make your voice heard

Posted Saturday, October 20, 2007, at 7:54 PM

We're delighted that people feel comfortable expressing themselves by leaving comments on our blog entries and news stories.

But as I was reading the comments on both sides of the standardized school attire issue, I felt like some people were missing the point of the story. The school board, yes, seems at the moment to be overwhelmingly in favor of some form of SSA. I wrote as much in an opinion column just the other day. But the current legal status is that they have asked us, the citizens, for input. Their final vote on SSA is months away.

So, the people who are using CAPITAL LETTERS to emphasize just how ANGRY they are on our ONLINE FORUMS, and in some cases are already calling school board members names, are shooting themselves in the foot. You have a chance, for the next few months, to make your voice heard -- and while we'd always love to hear from you here, in this case you're better off talking directly to your school board member, the people who are actually going to be making the decision.

While expressing yourself passionately is a good thing, there's an old saying about catching more flies with honey than with vinegar. Name-calling is not going to predispose anyone to listen to your point of view. Instead, use logic and facts. One poster made reference to an academic study which he or she said discounts the effect of dress on student behavior or achievement. Find a copy of that study, or at least a summary of it; make sure your school board member sees it, and the other eight school board members if you have the time to talk to them. (For that matter, we'd certainly like to see it here at the T-G.)

Exactly the same thing goes for people who are happy about the possibility of SSA, and a few of them have commented on the story too. This is an all-too-rare case where we are at the beginning of an intentional, announced public comment period. So don't tell me what you think -- tell the people who will be making the decision!

If you aren't sure who your school board member is, your county commission / school board district is listed on your voter registration card. (It's listed twice, under "county district" and "school district," both of which should be the same number.) That's why I listed the school board members by district at the end of the most recent SSA story.

We will be publishing the full text of the proposed policy in the T-G within the next week or so, as soon as we have space.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Hello Mr Carney

I read your article and appreciate your apparent middle ground on the SSA as any good newsperson should view both sides of a situation. Let me future state for the record that I was apparently one of those people that you referenced in the above article as I did capitalize a word for effect and my response was deleted from the comments section. My intent is only to provoke thought in persons who seem to believe that a single thing such as SSA will end all of our school problems. I for one know that no one thing cannot end any public problem.

The school dress code that is currently in place in our county is more than sufficient if it is properly enforced by our school administrators,teachers,support staff and parents and if this group cannot enforce the current dress code then as a prudent individual I find it unreasonable to believe that they could enforce a more strict one. But as a resident of this county I want my school board members to know that I do read the Times Gazette,I am active in my school and I do vote.

Thank you Mr. Carney and the Times Gazette for keeping the News published as you are the main source of information for the majority of the citizens in our county who want to better our county even if sometimes that is to limit our governments intervention as in this case.

-- Posted by VikingSupporter on Sun, Oct 21, 2007, at 1:49 PM

Well spoken VikingSupporter

-- Posted by amori_da_viaggiare on Sun, Oct 21, 2007, at 5:45 PM

What the real problem in school is today is the fact that students lack proper discipline because so many parents donĂ¢??t discipline their children at home and expect everyone else to do that job for them so those children come to school and influence other children. We also have a problem with teachers being expected to teach a class that has too many students in it and they donĂ¢??t have the time or resources to give students individual attention. Simply by saying a dress code is going to change student behavior is really naive and shows how out of touch the school board and the education field are with the real problems.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Mon, Oct 22, 2007, at 7:58 AM

As an educator, I completely agree that a great deal the of problems in education arise from the fact that students do not have self discipline and are not disciplined at home. I have found that when I have had to discipline a student in class, too many times a parent feels their child has had an injustice served on them. When I was in school, my parents always gave my teachers the benefit of the doubt and I was in twice as much trouble when I got home. I thought twice before stepping out of line again, whether I thought it was fair or not. A dress code will not make all students suddenly transform into perfect learners. It will however change attitudes and help eliminate bias towards any student population because of their dress. (please note 'help', not completely) Don't you feel like you can be taken more seriously when dressed professionally rather than in your weekend clothes?

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Mon, Oct 22, 2007, at 2:55 PM

In the 'old days', girls were not allowed to wear pants to school and boys had to wear ties.

-- Posted by stardust on Tue, Oct 23, 2007, at 4:52 PM

"In the old day" we had a "special day" towards the end of the year, when girls could wear pants and guys could wear jeans and T-shirts. Wow! what a change today. I am so glad all my kids are grown and out of school. (they all did well in school too) I don't think I could handle the BS involved today in the school systems. From in effective teachers to the hand tieing politics of the day, or the lack of respect coming from the students. I'm afraid I would be in big trouble. It is a real mess with no solution in sight as far as I can see. I do believe disipline is the leading problem, because there is a great lack of it today in these kids, 2nd comes from the idiot politics of the day. The gov't is trying to fix our broken moral fiber with "laws" and this is not going to work. It only feeds the problem. Look at the laws being considered and passed around the country as to "spanking" your kids! Good grief! I rarely ever had to spank my kids, and I was rarely spanked as a kid, but we KNEW that if we were to do something or not do something, that's the way it would be or ELSE. No problem. My brother slapped his very disrespectful step daughter one time, and it cost him 18,000 in lawyer fees and a divorce before it was all over!

I almost got in a fight with a mexican man in Walmart last week. His kids were running wild thru the stored, and one of them knocked an elderly lady flat on her butt, and kept going. When I said something to the man, he got hostile towards ME. We ahd some words, and it's a good thing he shut up and moved on, because it was fixing to be ugly! His kids kept running wild though. I got disgusted and walked out of the store. Seems like it ought to be up to the store personnel to police actions like that. If it was my store, they would have been asked to LEAVE.

Oh well, got to get off my box

later

-- Posted by Flyncarpet on Wed, Dec 12, 2007, at 6:25 AM


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John I. Carney is city editor of the Times-Gazette.
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