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letters to the editor

‘Choking game’ has
fatal consequences
I recently read a newspaper article by Mike Stobbe of the Associated Press that greatly disturbed me. It was headlined “Choking game’s death count prompts warning that is very alarming.”
This tragedy has been discussed on quite a number of talk shows, with broken-hearted parents whose child died from this “game.” This article listed a very low estimate of 82 who have died nationwide.
In this game, children use dog leashes or bungee cords wrapped around their neck to temporarily cut off the blood supply to their head. Why do they engage in this “game”? It gives them a dreamlike, floating-in-space feeling when the blood rushes back to their brain after the cord is released. Many teens and preteens do this game in groups. Most of the deaths are occurring when they play alone.
This is more widespread than parents realize. The signs to look for are bloodshot eyes, marks on their neck, severe headaches, disorientation and personality changes. Look for ropes, belts, dog leashes and bungee cords in children’s bedrooms.
You may research this on your computer by searching for “choking game” or go to www.kidsbesafeonline.com (seeing choking game) and www.deadlygameschildrenplay.com.
Some states have gotten involved, and their schools are sending out information to parents. Fox News, the Washington Post and others have done stories on this dangerous game kids are playing.
As a grandmother who spends time each week in a bus ministry with younger children, preteens and older youth, I am very much concerned and burdened about this.
ó Linda Murdock Harmon
Statesville
Pulpit politics When did the separation of church and government start coming together? I thought the clergy’s role was to teach the word of God and help people in need. Government was to make laws for the good of all people. The last few years and today, those running for some government offices find it hard to see the difference.
Most of what we see in the news involves some politician in a church giving speeches, sometimes while standing next to the clergy to make himself look good. Just look at Charlotte and the boondoggle over the sheriff, when Al Sharpton spoke at a church without having all the facts. Why didn’t he come and complain about all the crime and murders that happen everyday in this country?
If the clergy and church want a say in government besides God’s teaching, then let them give up their tax-exempt status and pay like other people and businesses have to do. It is fine the clergy prays for all people of this great country, but leave it out of politics. God bless this country, the land I love and fought for.
ó William Terheun
Salisbury

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