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 Letters Published in June 6, 2007 Issue



 June 6, 2007 - Letter submitted by Jennifer Cooper, Carthage

Today is Wednesday, May 30, and it's the last day of school. I'm a parent who is new to the whole school system, for my oldest is in kindergarten at Carthage Elementary.

As most parents who have children in the school system know, today was Awards Day at Carthage. My husband and I and our other two children, one who will be in kindergarten in the fall, went to the school for the ceremony thinking that we would be seeing our son get his awards. I was handed a program at the door and, naturally, I started to look at it. To my surprise, it said nothing about kindergarten. I went in the office and asked if the kindergarten class was getting their awards today and I was informed that they don't participate in the awards ceremony.

When did the school decide that the kindergarten class isn't part of the school? For the past year I've been encouraging my son to go to school everyday, work hard, listen to the teacher and do what he is supposed to do. The least the school can do is reward him for that in front of the whole school. He is taught to respect people, but how can you expect him to do that when he doesn't get any respect in return?

Kindergarten is a class just like first, second, third and fourth grades. The Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corp. gets money for them just like the rest of the classes. It sounds like all that the school system wants is money and doesn't care about the children.

I'm a VERY pi**ed off parent with the whole Charles A. Beard School Corporation. I pay tax dollars just like everybody else and I expect my children to receive the best education possible. My son's kindergarten class has gone on two field trips this whole year, one in which I had to pay for him to go. All the other classes have done the same if not more. This past month they have special things going on for the other classes - for example, field day and tug-of-war - but nothing for the kindergarten class. Can we say DISCRIMINATION? DISCRIMINATE - (1) to make the distinction on the basis of prejudice; show partiality; (2) to note a difference; distinguish accurately.

We are planning on raising our children here and having them attend all three of the schools, but at this point in time, the school system needs to do some changing and start treating all children the same. My son might be in kindergarten now, but he will eventually be a senior at Knightstown High School. I hope by that time things have changed.

Kindergarten is a milestone for these children and they need to be rewarded by their parents and the schools. The kindergarten class at Carthage has adjusted smoothly to certain transitions that they have had to face this year. Since the school district doesn't want to recognize the kindergarten class for their accomplishments, my husband and I will reward him on a job well done and let him know how proud we are of him. In closing I'd like to say, "Congratulations to Owen Cooper, along with the entire kindergarten class at Carthage Elementary."



 June 6, 2007 - Letter submitted by Tina Hinds, Knightstown

Jerry Hinds wants to thank Knightstown High School students and staff who supported him in making a donation to Riley Children's Hospital. On Sunday, June 3, Jerry won a trophy for America's Most Photogenic Babies, and overall winner for four and five year olds Voters' Choice with his donation of $186.50 to Riley.



 June 6, 2007 - Letter submitted by Michelle Rihm, Arlington

My name is Michelle Rihm. My brother Joshua Inman passed away a few years ago. He is buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Carthage. Someone keeps vandalizing his grave or stealing the things that we had up there.

The first thing was a very expensive cement bench. We replaced it. Then right after Christmas, someone stole his Christmas tree with all the ornaments. Then at the beginning of May somebody dug up a small blue spruce that was there for the last 2 years. Now within the last week someone stole a cross and broke everything that was up there. This person had to have been there a while. They took a wooden cross that had flowers on it I had bought him and beat it against the tree. They took a wooden birdhouse in the shape of a tackle shop and smashed it to pieces. They took all the flowers apart.

Now I ask that someone please help us to stop this person. We, the family, have decided to take everything off his grave and ask all his friends if they want to put something up there to just take it to his parents, you know where they live. Please DO NOT put anything on his gravesite to be torn up. This isn't a random act. It is only his grave. My daughter is buried right above him. We did have some things come up missing after Christmas but not lately. There are plenty of graves that are beautifully decorated there and nothing of theirs has been destroyed.

I ask anyone with any information to please contact my mom, Vicki, at (765) 565-6135 or the Rush Co. Sheriff's Dept. at (765) 932-2392. This is a terrible person that would destroy his grave like this. He never harmed a soul. God Bless all of you that care. Please help us to stop people like this. Thank you.



 June 6, 2007 - Letter submitted by Jim Purucker, executive director of Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Indiana and HRAD spokesman

Hoosiers for Responsible Alcohol Distribution (HRAD) implores parents and friends to refuse to provide alcohol to minors at anytime, but especially during the summer and graduation season.

Providing alcohol to a minor is a crime punishable by a $500 fine and in some cases, jail time.

Likewise, minors caught with alcohol face penalties including a fine of up to $500 and 60 days in jail - not to mention penalties like exclusion from extracurricular events and a criminal record that follows these young adults for the rest of their lives.

More importantly, medical and psychological evidence proves that kids and alcohol just don't mix. Underage drinkers run a much higher risk of injury or death when consuming alcohol, and socially, they are simply not ready to make mature decisions regarding the responsible use of alcohol.

Parents and friends, don't make the wrong decision for your kids by providing them with alcohol. Not only are you risking jail time - you're also risking potential tragedy.



 June 6, 2007 - Letter submitted by Nate LaMar, Henry County Councilman, rural Henry County

It is shocking to learn that two New Castle Chrysler High School seniors, who had enlisted in the National Guard, were not allowed to wear military honor cords at their graduation. But on second thought, maybe I shouldn't be too surprised, given my own experiences recruiting.

Every fall, Chrysler HS hosts the Henry County College Fair. Despite receiving invitations to represent West Point at college fairs over the years in Anderson, Connersville, Muncie, Richmond and Rushville, I have never been invited to the Henry County College Fair. Maybe that is part of the reason why it has been 20 years since Henry County sent someone to West Point. When I inquired as to why I was never invited, I was always told it is only open to Indiana colleges and universities. Why limit choices of Henry County students only to in-state schools?

This year, I made the point to Chrysler HS that, although the United States Military Academy just happens to be located in the state of New York, Indiana owns 1/50 of West Point, as it does each of our nation's four other service academies. Thankfully this argument worked, and the area Annapolis recruiter and I will be allowed to share a table at this year's Henry County College Fair in late September.

But the latest incident involving National Guard enlistees highlights a double standard at Chrysler HS. A few weeks ago, New Castle once again made national news for something negative. You can probably count on one hand the Chrysler HS students who demanded, and were awarded, a "Day of Silence." This quickly turned into a fiasco, with a threat made, and an ensuing school lock-down and search. The premise of the "Day of Silence" is flawed in any academic environment, as it encourages students not to participate in classroom discussion. If Chrysler HS caved-in to the gay lobby, the least it could do would be to allow two enlistees, who are willing to sacrifice their lives for the rights of those demanding a "gay day," to wear their National Guard honor cords!

Chrysler HS's insistence that only National Honor Society members be allowed to wear honor cords would be a little more understandable, if NHS selection at Chrysler HS were less subjective. Although lacking weighted grade point averages for honors courses, Hagerstown HS has very objective criteria for NHS selection, as it is based strictly on GPA. Having asked graduates of Chrysler HS from as early as its classes of the 1960s up to present day, I discovered that its NHS membership criteria has been, and still is, that those above a certain GPA are invited to apply for NHS membership, but actual awarding of NHS membership there is then based on subjective criteria, such as evaluations by a committee. Such subjectivity could potentially disenfranchise those whose parents may not be the most prominent or those who may not be star athletes.

Thankfully, our all-volunteer military is the closest thing to a truly objective, merit-based institution in our country. I don't know John Lewis IV or Carissa Stockton, but I salute them for joining the National Guard, while still in high school. Few of today's youth are willing to make such a courageous commitment.


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