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Letter: Bullying won’t increase because of Knox-Overton merger

I always read Dr. Ada Fisher’s columns, as I find her to be a very intelligent, well-written person. I agree with her most of the time.

I beg to differ with her letter in last Sunday’s newspaper (“Don’t Merge Knox Middle, Overton Elementary”), particularly in her assessment that the plan may increase bullying. I’ve spent 46 of my 73 years in Rowan County schools, either as a student or teacher. I attended Rockwell School when it was grades 1-12 (no kindergarten way back then). I went straight from 8th grade at Rockwell to 9th grade at East Rowan High.

I really can’t remember many instances of bullying or any other kind of hostile behavior. Sure, kids misbehaved, got sent to the principal’s office and parents were notified. Then, the behavior got corrected — by the parents at home.

Today, students and society face many more personal acts of hostility than occurred in my childhood. Bullying and personal attacks must not be tolerated, but we can’t stop them by having different age-group buildings. Besides, most bullying is within the same grade level.

The physical school building — new or old, large or small, graded or a one-room schoolhouse — is not the problem nor the answer. The responsibility belongs to the parenting and home situations of our students, the teaching of respect for law and order and the response that parents make when a student gets in trouble.

It wouldn’t hurt if we put biblical principles and prayer back in public schools.

Linda Merrell

Rockwell

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