Letters to the editor: Feb. 2

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 2, 2023

Restorative justice needed more than SROs

After reading an article I found online titled “Students Need Emotional and Community Support, Not Cops” by Eleanor J. Bader, I was at a loss for words.

Minority students such as students with disabilities and LGBTQ+ students are disproportionately negatively affected by having student resource officers (SROs) in schools, yet I have never heard of this problem.

My question to you is, why?

Why is this problem so significant yet underrepresented in the media? Why has this newspaper, local to my hometown, not spoken about this issue?

Restorative justice is needed, yet we are producing student resource officers. SROs are a relatively new initiative in schools yet have not proven to be effective, so why are we funding them? Funding for social workers, counselors and psychologists is needed now more than ever in schools. Let me remind you of the young child, age 6, who shot his teacher after a disagreement in class. This young boy was known to have emotional issues due to a disability but these issues were left mostly unresolved.

If these schools had access to counselors and social workers, what would have happened?

Not only Richneck Elementary, but also Sandy Hook, Columbine and countless others.

Restorative justice is shown to be effective in all different levels of schools, from elementary to college. Keeping students engaged and happy reduces the violence levels in schools, so why aren’t we doing this? Introducing calming practices such as meditation and wellness rooms into classrooms and schools has directly impacted students and their mental health in areas where these methods have been implemented.

These methods of intervention and others such as crisis circles equip students to be able to successfully connect with other resources and communities. So why have they not been implemented in Rowan County?

— Alison Ketchie


Sorry for the loss of Jerry McKinnon

I was saddened to see the obituary for Jerry McKinnon recently.

He spent most of his adult life working in the printing industry — both in sales and production, including a stint at Rowan Business Forms here in Salisbury.

His hands-on experience led to a deep understanding of the craft, which allowed him to educate customers and co-workers alike.

As a young wanna-be professional, I constantly asked Jerry about various details such as paper specs, press requirements, art preparation and more.

He was always patient with my questions and willing to share his vast knowledge.

Thank you Jerry for mentoring this young rookie many years ago.

— E.D. Cook