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Letters to the editor – Friday (6-06-08)

Mentoring proposal has serious flaws
State Sen. Tony Rand (D-Cumberland) has proposed making mentoring service a requirement for all public and private college students in the state. The bill would require any student seeking a bachelor’s degree to spend 20 hours per semester mentoring and tutoring an at-risk public school-age child.
Senator Rand proposed that mentoring would “help to address issues related to an increase in the dropout rate among school-aged students (and) the proliferation of gang activity.”
Considering the expense of college these days, no student should be required to spend 20 hours per semester mentoring someone else’s at-risk child.
There are several concerns here:
1. In a perfect world, at-risk children are sweet little ones that have fallen behind in school work. However, most of your at-risk children have disciplinary problems, some severe. Senator Rand wants college students to mentor children that their own school full of trained educators cannot control, much less educate. I don’t want my grandchildren to have to sacrifice for the failure of parents and schools, especially when they’re working hard to get their own education.
2. This also requires at-risk public school children to be exposed to any college student that may be a pedophile, assaultive, member of the Aryan Nation, woman hater, black hater, Mexican hater or gay basher. If you have a gay son or daughter, do you want a gay-basher mentoring them?
3. Many college students work part time or full time putting themselves through college. Many of these students are also married with children. I’m sure those who’re trying to work, attend college and take care of their family will appreciate losing an extra 20 hours per semester spending time with someone else’s problem child instead of their own precious children.
This bill is another slow-motion train wreck from inside the Raleigh Beltway.
ó La Vera Yates Bennett
Salisbury
Unhappy with city
I don’t see how the Salisbury City leaders sleep at night. Here they complain about not being represented by the state leaders, yet who represents the people in the forced annexation areas?
They try to make it seem they are being singled out; they don’t tell you that at least four other N.C. counties are pushing to end forced annexation. They also fail to tell the public that North Carolina is one of only seven states in America that allows forced annexation.
I am one of the people in the last forced annexations, and who did I have to speak for me? This country was founded on the principle of no taxation without representation. The only thing I received was double taxes and more government regulations.
As a resident of the city, you see no traffic enforcement. I have seen one city police car pull over a speeder. If you see a car pulled for speeding, it is usually a county deputy. Yes they sit at the old gas station on Statesville Boulevard, only they don’t have their radar turned on. They also claim not to have problems with water pressure; I cannot turn on two faucets at the same time.
Instead of forced annexation why don’t try to budget what they have, rather than create it?
ó Lanny Bost
Salisbury

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