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Letters to the editor – Wednesday (7-15-09)

Safety of children triumphs over fear and prejudice
On June 30, Gov. Perdue signed both the School Violence Prevention Act and the Healthy Youth Act. Now, these two bills to protect the safety and health of young people in our state are the law of the land. As I followed the N.C. House proceedings on Twitter, it came to me that the crux of the debate was what kind of state North Carolina wanted to be. Are we a state that values all people regardless of difference, or are we a state that concedes to those who put fear and prejudice ahead of the safety of children. I thank God that 26 N.C. senators and 58 representatives decided we are a state that values all people!
I’d like to extend a personal thank you to Rep. Lorene Coates for her aye vote. When lobbying in Raleigh two years ago in support of this bill, eight Salisbury/Rowan PFLAGers spoke to Senator Brock. After sharing our stories of why this legislation was important, Senator Brock said he could relate to our stories and went on to tell us of his personal experience at the hands of bullies. He told us that as a high schooler, he was beaten up by a gang of girls for being a preppie! Senator Brock voted no. Shame on you, Senator Brock.
Because of the passage of these laws, generations of N.C. students will be better protected. Dozens won’t take their own lives, hundreds won’t be harassed, and thousands will be able to maximize their education and grow into healthy adults without the bullying and harassment that retards development.
I hope this legislation somehow gives our Board of Education the motivation and courage to do the right thing and rescind its ban on gay-straight alliances in the near future.
ó Mike Clawson
Salisbury
Clawson is state coordinator for PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) North Carolina.
Dancing memories
I read and enjoy Emily Ford’s Sunday columns, but I especially enjoyed the one headlined “I hope you dance” (May 24), about Shoaf’s Wagon Wheel. I started going out there when I was just 19 years old, and I almost feel like I grew up out there ó but I never did become a great dancer.
Over the years, I went there, I met a lot of nice people. My sister met her second husband there, and on Aug. 17, they will celebrate 44 years of marriage. She became a grandma for the first time last Aug. 3, at the age of 60. She has had a very wonderful and happpy life. Some people put dance halls down and say it’s a sin to go to places like that, but if it had not been for places like the Wagon Wheel, she probably would not have met her husband.
The last time I was there, Ronnie McDowell ó who sang “The King is Gone” after Elvis died ó was there. I will never forget the good time I had out there for so many years.
ó JoAnne McKinney
Spencer
How can we judge him?
I’ll start out by saying I am a white male 55 years old.
There has been a lot of publicity about Michael Jackson since his death. So many stories, some real and some hard to believe. It has been this way his whole life.
I’m not going to wade into the subject about his possible relationships with children.
I’m not an MJ fan, but I must ask you to look at whether you live in a “glass house” regarding the stones that you may throw.
His daughter said, “I just want to say, ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. I just want to say I love him so much.”
Can you ask for a better epitaph?
ó Bill McCranie
Salisbury

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