Letters to the editor: Aug. 28

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 28, 2022

Promises made, promises broken

Dr. Kelly Withers has been named Rowan-Salisbury Schools superintendent. I urged the school board to wait until after the elections to be held before naming a school superintendent. Nope…

My beef is not with the selection, as Dr. Withers seems well qualified and a person who knows Rowan-Salisbury Schools. I pray that she is up to the task.

My beef is that the board says one thing and does the other. The paper even pointed out that they said there would be a public forum concerning the selection process. Did not happen. Does anyone really know what will be done with the property beside the administration building, which by the way was priced $110,000 over the market value?

Did the board consider before the fact what was the minimum bid of the school they would take which they sold for a bargain?

I thought is was funny when two board members said that they did not know they were voting on the offer that evening. Is there any doubt why the public does not trust the school board and their lack of transparency.

I propose that they put in an old time cash register that you ring up the lost tax dollars with each unthought through action. Oh well… It’s just our hard earned money that we give to government each year.

— Michael Chapman

Rowan County

Thank you in time of bereavement

Thank you for your outpouring of love during our hour of bereavement. Your thoughtfulness will be remembered for years to come.

A special thank you to Rev. Tate, choir, kitchen ministry and members of Southern City Tabernacle AME Zion church as well as Rev. Lee for the heartfelt Eulogy.

A sincere thank you to Mr. Al Hargrave and staff of Rowan Funeral Service, Inc. for rendering professional service.

Thank you to the neighbors of Fairview Heights.

Whatever your part, we thank you from our heart!

— Family of the late Yvonne Renee “Nay” Tillman-Ellis

Still waiting on shooting follow-up

I am concerned about an article that appeared in the Sunday, June 26, Salisbury Post newspaper.  The front page article is entitled: “Officer shoots, kills man with knife.”

I have been waiting for a follow-up report on this case.  I do not know the victim, Steven Ray Johnson, but this incident is very troubling to me.

I am disturbed because (1) the man was in an accident, (2) was the man trying to get away from someone when his vehicle struck a tree? (3) did he sustain head injuries as a result of the accident? (4) was he traumatized and/or confused? and (5) why did those professionals who are supposed to protect and serve not try to talk him down, use a taser, and if the use of a gun was truly necessary, why not shoot him in the leg or some other non-life threatening part of his body?  Did he have to be killed just because he hit a tree?

Mr. Johnson was a human being. I could and still can be that person. I have family members, friends, students (former and current), neighbors, and just humans in general who could find themselves in a similar situation.  This does not make sense.  It sincerely hurts my heart.  It is so frustrating to know that some people care more about guns and bullets than human beings.  Where is the accountability for this tragedy?

On Jake Alexander Boulevard, on the front lawn of the radio station was a sign that said, “Our Unborn Matter.”  Even before the highest court in the land handed down its decision, my response to that sign was always the same, “Until They Are Born.”  For Mr. Steven Ray Johnson, I ask:  Where was his right to life? Why did his life not matter?

— Arnethia “A.J.”  Alexander


Editor’s note: The SBI has not released a report on the shooting investigation.

Legislators, State Board of Education missing big elephant in classes

To be clear: I am in favor of paying people more if they do their jobs well. That said, there are several badly designed proposals now before the N.C. Legislature aimed at changing how public school K-12 teachers and administrators are evaluated and compensated.  The proposed new law would have educators’ pay raised only if the students’ learning improved year-after-year on state-wide tests.

This is profoundly unfair to those who teach in older school buildings.  Learning is impacted by many things besides the teachers, the most powerful of which is the quality of air the students breathe.  If the classroom air is not rich in oxygen, and contains too much pollution, learning drops one or two letter grades every year.

According to the EPA half of all classrooms in America have poor indoor air quality. Surveys we have done in several school districts confirm this.

If you are a educator working in an old school building, there is no way your students can improve at the rate the students in a recently built school building down the street will.

These soon-to-be-voted-on state rules are like the people in charge of the Atlantic Coast Conference football schedule requiring UNC players wear 10 pound ankle weights when playing Duke, and win, before getting their championship award

 In fact, it is worse than that, because the football players may lose a game.  The kids lose their future.

— Francis Koster


Editor’s note: Koster is a retired pediatric healthcare executive and his 501-c-3 lends meters to students and staff to inspect their schools for pollution.