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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Feb. 13

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Repulsive actions

To the editor:

In response to the Feb. 4 story regarding the repulsive actions that took place by a cafeteria worker at the middle school, I would like to say that I find the administration’s policy absurd. It is wasteful, distasteful and unacceptable for anyone to treat our children in this manner. 

Consequently, it is detrimental to the child psychologically considering the embarrassment one must feel due to such an action in front of one’s peers. It  must be beyond humiliating.

No child should be left without the basic necessities of life. Who you are, what you look like, whatever your parents’ income level, it does not matter. We must take care of our children. 

If there’s an issue such as this, the last thing we should do is throw someone’s lunch away, and on top of that, offer only water and crackers. Does the administration not realize that they’re effectively increasing their costs, both fiscally and socially, by wasting a perfectly edible lunch, then providing crackers, and harming a child both mentally and physically in the process’?

These issues are ones that should be dealt with privately, with the parents. The children in these matters should be given their lunches, no matter the tab that they might have built up. We do not live in a famine-laden North Korea. We have an over-abundance of food and fresh water, more than enough to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves, or those who can, but may have forgotten their lunch money on a given day.

Dissenters may claim that some children will run up this tab, and use the money that their parents gave them to buy a soda from a vending machine or something from the “snack line.” It is inherent in any system such as this that some will attempt to take advantage. But controls can be put into place to limit this fraudulent activity. 

For instance, introduce a system or a check of sorts that would deny anyone who has placed his or her lunch on a tab, the ability to purchase ‘snacks’ with cash. A little common sense and ingenuity can go a long way.

As a nation and as a community, we should be looking out for one another, not waging war on those who can’t provide for themselves. War should be declared on poverty, not the poor. 

If this policy was implemented because of $40,000 in prior unpaid lunches, then we need to find $40,000 to add to the budget to make sure our children are fed. This is not a questionable expense. This is common sense. 

We shouldn’t be paying taxes to subsidize the rich, as we’ve been doing since the 1960s, but to provide for the common good, for the security, health and welfare of our nation as a whole; and especially for our children.

Sincerely,

Patrick Womack

South Boston

 

Thanks for Four Chaplains service

To the editor:

I would like to thank the Halifax County Veteran’s Association for holding the Four Chaplains service at the Living Word of Christ Fellowship Church in Halifax on Sunday, Feb. 3. 

It is important that we do not forget the service and sacrifice of those who have served our nation.

Of the four chaplains who gave up their own life jackets to other soldiers who had lost or misplaced their own life jackets, three of the four chaplains were leaders in the Boy Scouts of America.

Rev. Bill Wilkins

Vernon Hill

 

Fire them all

To the editor:  

Halifax County is such a great place to live.  Our prisoners being held in the Blue Ridge Regional Jail, whether being held for murder, rape, theft, drugs, or whatever, are given three hot meals a day.  

Lord forbid if a correctional officer were to give an inmate crackers and water. 

That correctional officer would be publicly “stoned.”  

However, our school administration at the Halifax County Middle School can put a student’s lunch in the trashcan and offer the student crackers and water just because that student owes $3.40.

Everyone involved in this incident should be fired.  

No wonder our jails and prisons are full.  You get better treatment there than in our public school system.  

The great and mighty school board did nothing - that makes them guilty too.  

Think of the humiliation this child suffered at the hands of the administration.  

How safe are our kids; it’s things like this that trigger larger incidents.  

Thank you.  

Jimmy Gregory 

South Boston

 

Lions say thanks

To the editor:

We have just completed the biggest Bland Contest in memory.  We are overcome with positive comments about it.  

On behalf of the South Boston Lions Club, and for myself personally, I want to thank Chris Jones, artistic director of The Prizery; Ernelle Bellamy, technical director at The Prizery; Betty Woods of The Prizery; Richard Banks, Elvira Green, Dr. Charles Kinzer and Sally Sizemore Muller, judges; both newspapers for their gracious and excellent coverage; music teachers too numerous to mention; area businesses that assisted; Lions too numerous to mention; contestants; parents; accompanists; and members of the audience for their contributions. 

Again, thank you to the community for your devotion to music and youth and for your assistance to the South Boston Lions Club.

Yours in Lionism,

John Todd

President

 

Remembering Steve Cassada

To the editor:

I just wanted to say thank you for your story about the county board of supervisors honoring the memory of the late Lt. Steve Cassada for being a mentor, officer and gentleman.

Steve truly was a mentor, officer and gentleman. I’m sure the county will never forget him.

The last time I saw Steve, Sheriff Fred Clark was with him, and both were smiling as if the two of them were brothers. 

Let’s all pull together in prayer for this heart-broken Cassada family and always remember Steve as a mentor, officer and gentleman.

Dale Snead

South Boston

 

A good thing

To the editor:

I think the government making an effort to enforce stricter background checks on those trying to buy guns is a really good thing. 

After all the terrible shootings throughout the country something has to be done. 

But are stricter background checks enough to stop deranged people from getting their hands on guns?

These days while just going to the local store a shooting could break out. It’s become like the Wild West used to be. 

If someone wants to get a gun bad enough, it can be obtained illegally. 

More has to be done to curtail this problem. 

Paul DuPont

Halifax

 

Anxiously awaiting an answer

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following email was sent directly to Del. James Edmunds, and portions of the email are reprinted here by request.)

To Del. Edmunds:

Really man?  You refuse to vote yes to allow Sunday hunting based on some sort of “higher moral reasoning,” yet believe it is OK to pen animals in and chase and shoot them. (As printed in the Feb. 8 edition of The Gazette-Virginian) 

SB1280 would make it illegal to erect or maintain an enclosure (high fence) for pursuing, hunting, killing or attempting to hunt, pursue or kill a fox or coyote with dogs as well as attempt to pursue, hunt or kill a fox or coyote within such an enclosure with dogs.

I have a few questions for our delegate: 

What is the real reason you want this bill defeated?  This hunter is not buying your statement of “a proud tradition of fox penning.”  An answer would be nice.

Mr. Edmunds – what is the exact nature of your relationship with Kirby Burch, the vice chairman of The Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance? 

I would like a direct answer to the question above, regarding your relationship with Mr. Burch.

Mr. Edmunds, are you, or are you not, a member of the Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance?  Did you receive campaign contributions from this politically active group?

Mr. Edmunds, it is well known that you sit on the sub-committee that defeated SB464. (SB464 would have allowed Sunday deer hunting on private property only).  However, did you, or did you not vote in favor of a bill that expanded chase opportunities on Sundays for bear hunters?  (I already know the answer to that one.) 

Mr. Edmunds, you are quoted as stating, “There is no one more concerned about the future of hunting than I am,” said James Edmunds, one of the delegates who voted no, in an interview with the Roanoke Times. “Adding seven to 10 more days [Sundays] to the season…will, in my opinion, create an ever further divide between hunters and non hunters.”

Are you aware of the 2012 survey conducted by Quinnipiac University that states that 48 percent of all Virginians supported lifting the restriction, with only 39 percent opposed? 

Mr. Edmunds, does the reason you voted against SB464 have anything to do with the fact they the Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance regularly chases bears, foxes and raccoons on Sunday?  Have you chased bear, fox or raccoon on Sunday?

I have asked this question directly to one of Mr. Edmunds’ staff and did not get a direct answer.

I am not an anti-hunter.  I have hunted this great nation of ours, from the Northeastern deer woods, to the big timber elk woods of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, to popping “desert dogs” in Arizona.  This is a matter of principle. 

I find it highly questionable that you think it’s OK to shoot animals that cannot escape but want to deny many of their rights to hunt when they want to.  It’s unbelievable. 

I anxiously await your answers. 

Tim Davis

South Boston

 

School system needs to get act together

To the editor:

This letter to the editor is regarding the child whose lunch was tossed in the trash due to inability to pay.

As everyone should know by now, the incident happened to a child when the food was already prepared and on the tray.  When the child couldn’t pay, the cashier told the child she already owed over $5 when actually the child owed only $3.40. 

Now the cashier gave the child water and crackers.  This child had to be humiliated and totally embarrassed by this action.

Tell me if I’m wrong.  Isn’t throwing the food in the trash the same as throwing money in the trash?  Instead of taking the child’s well-being into consideration and feeding the child, that couldn’t take place because the child had no money. But who is paying for the same food the cashier took away from the child and chose to throw in the trash? We are, our taxes.

I am ashamed to be known as a 1981 graduate from the Halifax County School System.

I’ve fought the Halifax County School Board when we fought to keep our school, Virgilina Elementary, open. The end result was our school being closed.  

I’ve fought The Halifax County School Board when my son, while a student, had encounters with a bully. There have been other incidences as well.

The Halifax County School system needs to be held accountable for its actions.  Is this cashier going to pay for the lunch she threw away in the trash?  How could anyone stand there and throw a child’s lunch in the trash?  Could you stand there and watch that go on in front of your own eyes? 

What’s wrong with the people we hold accountable for doing right by our children? How about common sense?  Let’s cut salaries.  Let’s put a stop to this spending. These employees need to know how this child feels.  

Do you think water and crackers sustained this child throughout the rest of the day?

I want you to know that I have sent The First Lady of The United States the article in The Gazette-Virginian and my letter.  She is such an advocate on healthy lunches for our children.  Do you think this is what she meant by healthy school lunches? 

The school system needs to get its act together.  You are playing with our children’s health -- bullying, overcrowded classrooms and now taking the food away from our children.

Thank you God my child graduated already. 

Ruth Owen

Virgilina

 

Shameful

To the editor:

I think it is a shame when the school takes away a tray of food from a child just because they owe money for lunches.

This makes no sense whatsoever. I have always thought Halifax County was the best place to send a child to school, but now I am so ashamed of our school system. 

How anyone could take away a tray of food and allow a child to go without a meal is absolutely more than shameful.

All I can say is shame on whoever was responsible for taking the tray of food from that little girl.

Again, I am so ashamed of our school system for allowing this to happen.

Susie Turner

Halifax

 

Changing lives with gratitude

To the editor:

Since completing our last house in July, we have turned our focus to the beginnings of our next house — to “break ground” perhaps late March or early April of this year. 

However, we would indeed be remiss without pausing to appreciate – even treasure – a community that has been more than willing to help us make a difference in the lives of others in need, who are willing to work with us, building their very own home.

Gratitude is one of those emotions we don’t necessarily feel unless we think about it – sort of like the act of breathing. Until we focus on it, it lacks intention. But gratitude is very obvious when we think of what is not wrong in our lives that could be – that we have a roof over our heads (if that is the case.) 

To be grateful arms us then, to reach out to others, sharing our time, talents and prayers in order to make a life changing difference that will further perpetuate gratitude. 

Through our work at Tri River Habitat for Humanity – thanks to the South Boston and Halifax community – we have seen hearts and lives changed and relationships built across geographic, religious, cultural and socioeconomic divides, with physical walls going up and invisible barriers that separate us tumbling down.

What a year you have allowed Tri River Habitat for Humanity to have. And because of you we have the wonderful opportunity to celebrate and to look back with gratitude for all you have done to help further our mission. 

Please continue on this journey with us as we move forward, seeking to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. 

Despite the wonderful accomplishments friends like you have helped make possible, there is still and enormous need for safe, decent and affordable shelter here in our community. We must not lose sight of the work before us. 

Your prayers, pledges and participation are always coveted and appreciated because every house is a sermon of God’s love. 

Gratefully, 

Bob Hughes

Executive Director

South Boston

 

Shame, Shame, Shame

To the editor:

To the citizens of South Boston and Halifax County, I can’t believe how we the people of this town and county have turned it into a trash dump. 

That is what our highways and a lot of our properties look like. Trash is everywhere. 

We suffer in this community for lack of jobs. If you had a company, would you want to come to a community that has no pride? 

As a citizen, I think a law should be passed that every able person should have to pick up trash once a month. I think we would see a big difference. 

Let’s get our pride back people. Get out there and start cleaning up your community. 

God gave us this great land, so let us honor Him by keeping it clean. 

Carolyn Wilson 

South Boston