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Letters to the editor – Monday (1-24-11)

Week puts focus on eliminating bullying
Jan. 24-28 marks the sixth annual No Name-Calling Week. It was developed to provide schools the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about bullying and name-calling of all kinds and focus on eliminating bullying. So it seems an appropriate time to talk more about bullying.
According to the National Educators Association (NEA) ěBullying has become more lethal and has occurred more frequently than in the two previous decades.î The National Association of School Psychologists has called bullying ěthe most common form of violence in society.î Bullying affects nearly one out of every three U.S. children in grades six to 12. Most studies show 15-25 percent of American students are bullied ěsometimesî and others more often.
Bullying is an intentional aggressive behavior. It involves an imbalance of power and strength that is repeated over time and can be very harmful for children. Bullying can take many forms, including teasing, name-calling, note passing, texting, cell phone pictures, gestures, social exclusion, hitting, punching, verbal threatening and cyberbullying.
Fear of retaliation prevents many children and youth from reporting it to adults. Those being bullied are more likely to be depressed, lonely, anxious, have low self-esteem, feel sick and frequently miss school and have thoughts about suicide. Adults are frequently unaware of bullying problems because they usually take place in areas of schools and communities not well supervised by adults.
According to the Human Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), ěJust about every student in a school may be affected by bullying, either as a victim, the bully himself/herself, or as a witness. A conservative estimate is that 10 percent of students are chronic victims of bullying.î
For more information on bullying, check out http://www.stopbullyingnow. hrsa.gov/kids.
Itís sad we have to designate a week to focus on no name-calling. We should continue to raise awareness to protect our children and youth and put an end to bullying!
ó Julia Hess
Kannapolis
The writer operates Hess Mental Health Consulting & Education.
Another option
Health insurance premiums continue to increase. Is anyone trying to prevent these increases? The constant hassle of meeting premium payments is a financial drain faced by businesses that offer health insurance and by individuals who pay their own premiums. It also decreases sales-tax income, taking funds out of consumersí pockets.
This problem is one of the big three ěchoke pointsî in the private business economy, along with fuel prices and taxes.
Hereís a thought: What if Rowan Regional Medical Center had an option that allowed insurance premiums be paid to the hospital by employers, for their employees, and by individuals who pay insurance premiums?
Surely, this would cut paper-work costs and give private insurance companies more competition. It could cut insurance costs for companies that locate in Rowan County. Wow! Thatís what you call enticing. The problem of health insurance costs isnít going away unless leaders take action.
Rowan County commissioners could approach RRMC officials, encouraging them to go forward with this suggestion, check the possibilities and doors it would open.
The new federal health-care law is rejected by many people, and rightly so. It imposes a required expense, just like car insurance. You do not have to own a car. Itís your choice. But everyone has a God-given body, so you have no choice but to obey the health insurance law.
This letterís suggestion could help lower health-care costs, bringing the people of Rowan County together on one important issue, encouraging a large amount of money to stay within the county while controlling costs.
My personal thought: If more money remains in peopleís pockets locally, you will have a united county, a better-trained medical center and more private businesses wanting to locate here. The problems of enacting such a program can be solved. Rules can be changed. This can be accomplished with leadership.
ó Ron Sweet
Faith
Why isnít it a raise?
Pardon me for thinking, but if we pay Dave Treme a salary of $140,00 for two more delightful years, would that be $280,000, plus a $70,000 bonus? Does that equal a cool $350,000 for not even bothering to return phone calls or being seen by the public? Is that not tantamount to a raise? Would other city employees contemplating retirement like the same offer? Would this be about $500 a day?
Am I just another no-brained, amorphous blob paying more taxes?
Tell me again how hard times are now. Oh, to be on the city payroll.
Sign me: Struggling to keep up with the Tremes.
ó Clyde (formerly Overcash)
Salisbury
Passion & incivility
A Jan. 18 Post editorial likened that ěCrossing the Aisleî ó bipartisan seating among members of Congress during the State of the Union address ó is a good idea.
Wrong! Itís a very bad idea and not one that can be endorsed by true conservatives.
For the past 12 years, attempts by Republicans to ěreach across the aisleî and work with Democrats in a bipartisan manner hasnít worked, except to the advantage of Democrats and liberal senators like John McCain and Lindsey Graham.
Already the ěC-wordîó compromise ó has creeped back into the congressional vocabulary; not exactly what the founders had in mind. When the government of this country was formed, checks and balances were assured by having three branches: The executive, legislative and judicial. The two-party system assured an adversarial approach to issues. Debate has traditionally been, at times, contentious.
Talking civility is no more than code for politically correct, and it is political correctness that has helped our society dig the hole itís in today. It certainly wasnít civility when Democratic members stood on the floor of the House recently debating Obama care as they compared Republicans to Nazis and efforts to defeat Obama care to creating another Holocaust. Politicians get passionate discussing critical issues. Counter-strategy is meeting passion with passion.
Closer to home, the new Republican-controlled legislature has a mess to clean up, one left by the departed Democrats. Tax codes in North Carolina have been bleeding revenue to special interests for years. According to Chris Fitzsimon of N.C. Policy Watch, multistate corporations have been allowed to shift profits they make in N.C. to other states to avoid paying NC taxes. And we the taxpayers are expected to pay incentives to these companies?
It will be interesting to note how many, if any, of the new Republicans as-well-as the incumbents will succumb to the siren call of special interest lobbyists. Those who elected you are watching.
ó Bill Ward
Salisbury
School uniforms
My issue is that we have to wear uniforms at many of our middle schools and elementary schools. It is a problem because most kids donít like the idea of having to wear a belt, tuck in their shirt and stick to one color for shirts and pants.
My problem is that I donít see why the high school kids get more freedom then we do when it comes to this topic. It seems to me that the schools want us younger kids to suffer while high school students get all the freedoms.
To help fix this problem, the people in charge should bring back regular clothes to our dress code but limit things that people can wear and have more severe consequences for people who donít follow the rules. If the leaders decide to stick with these uniforms, then I think we shouldnít have to tuck in our shirts and should have more color choices for our shirts .
Some of the ways I think the schools could punish rule breakers are that they should have to copy vocabulary words and type them up for a test grades. They should be made to suffer so that everybody else doesnít have to. I understand that everyone makes mistakes, but the other schools shouldnít be made to suffer for one kidís wrong.
Another solution could be more fundraising days on which students are allowed to wear jeans, such as students donating one dollar to help buy books or to help spread recycling around schools.
ó Brittany Goodman
Salisbury

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