letters to the editor

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 15, 2008

We can’t save all the dropouts
Regarding the dropout rate, I believe it’s all our responsibility (parent, teacher, relative, friends and others) to encourage our youth to stay in school and graduate. But no matter how hard we try, hundreds of capable students drop out every year, choosing to spend their lives in poverty. It’s no different than trying to give a pill to a cat. Those who have attempted this task know full well that, despite all-out effort, the cat will not take the pill, even if it will save its life.
That’s the way it is with many dropouts. Yes, some eventually realize their error and correct it by getting a GED or going to technical school. They are to be commended for wanting to improve their lives. Others, however, who refuse education and all advice and don’t really care about themselves, will end up in poverty or in prison. Unfortunately, we taxpayers will end up supporting them through welfare, food stamps and other social services because they can’t find a job or they are too lazy to look for work.
The bottom line is, hundreds of students will simply not take the pill to ensure some success in their lives. We can’t keep spending time, money, effort and revamping our education system to make it more accommodating for those who choose poverty. If they don’t care, if their parents, friends and relatives don’t care and we try our best to encourage them to stay in school, then there’s nothing else we can do. Simply said, a cat will not take a pill, and a student who doesn’t want an education will drop out. Let’s concentrate our time, energy and money on those who want to learn or who can be turned around, and let us stop blaming our schools and teachers for the dropouts.
ó Donald Schumacher
Growth at whose expense?
In the words of one city councilman as reported in the Post, “(annexation) is the only way we can grow.” My question is, why does Salisbury need to “grow”?
I’ll tell you what and I’ll tell you why. The what is tax revenue. Annexing hundreds of the more affluent homes along the N.C. 150 corridor will bring in a bunch of it. The why? They can’t responsibly and effectively manage the money they currently receive, so they need more! I was personally told that since county citizens use Salisbury’s streets and parks the city is entitled to make them city residents to help foot the bill. Last time I checked, merchants in Salisbury are quite happy to have us country folk drive in from time to time to shop and eat. Maybe City Council should take a look at its wasteful spending instead of just rushing to annex in more revenue (i.e. building sidewalks that hardly anyone uses; installing greenways and medians on U.S. 70 and other places which cause dangerous traffic conditions; painting yellow lines around said medians, as if we don’t see the moronic things in the first place).
Leave us folks in the county alone. If we wanted to live in the city and give away more of our hard-earned dollars so that you can spend them needlessly, we would move! Scott Mooneyham (Feb. 11 column) suggests giving the Local Government Commission the authority to approve or deny annexations. That makes perfect sense, giving one government body the authority to approve what another government body wants to do. Kind of like letting your 4-year-old supervise your 3-year-old.
ó Jeff Chapman