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Friday, Apr. 18, 2014
Make your voice heardPosted 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.
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John I. Carney is city editor of the Times-Gazette.
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