News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
SUNDAY, MAY 22, 2005


Falkville pranksters
deserve punishment

A columnist in the Birmingham News wrote recently about seniors at the Altmont School and their senior prank for this year. The students took all the school chairs they could find and used them to spell out "2005" on the soccer field. The columnist wrote that this stunt was everything a senior prank should be: creative, cost little or nothing and did no harm to persons or property. In contrast, the prank committed by the group of Falkville seniors fits none of the above criteria.

The students interviewed in the May 14 DAILY feel their punishment was too harsh. On the contrary, the punishment for such disgraceful behavior is perfectly just. These students broke the law. They should be thankful criminal charges were not brought against them.

I am sorry they will not participate in commencement ceremonies. They should have thought of this before they vandalized their school. My high school principal told his students that "walking" is a privilege and an honor, not a right. The honor of "walking" is reserved for students who deserve it. These students do not deserve this privilege.

At some point we must decide to be grownups and realize that actions have consequences. These students are presented with the opportunity to do this: by taking responsibility for their actions and taking their punishment with all the grace they can muster.

Allyson Kitchens


Students can dish out
but can't take a prank

Regarding the senior prank at Falkville High school.

Frankly, I don't see the problem. Ms. Sue Wood can't take a prank and Superintendent (Don) Murphy can't either. The crickets were funny making all that noise. The cornstarch looked so good in the carpet. Those chickens must have made a terrible mess, tee-hee. The toilet paper hanging off the wall was hilarious!! The look on Ms. Wood's face when she came to school and saw the mess would have made you gasp for breath, it was so funny.

Going to school for 13 years, cost of invitations, and then not being able to walk down the aisle to get your diploma has got to be the ultimate in pranks. Frankie Bannister and Ashley Tucker are just mad because Ms. Wood could do that. This just goes to show you that the nine who went to the school and vandalized the school can't take a prank either. Can we dish it out and not take a prank? When the pranksters get the bill for the clean up, they can have another laugh.

Aaron Potts


Artist emphasizes
importance of Carnegie

Thank you for your story and photos in the April 10 Living Today section on my art exhibition at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center. It was a great honor to be back in Decatur, and to have my art recognized. Much has changed since I graduated in 1953, yet much of the Decatur I remember remains and the Carnegie is an example. Formerly a grand library I visited regularly, it has been transformed into a beautiful space for art, while respecting the architecture, history and beauty of Decatur's past.

I congratulate the Carnegie's board, donors and supporters who have made this museum a welcoming building to all the people of Decatur, surrounding communities and schools. A place where people can go, slow down, appreciate beauty, learn and be inspired by art is important in this time. The Carnegie's director, Laura Phillips, staff and volunteers are hard-working, professional and seemingly tireless. Each was a great support to me and my art.

I want to thank Suzanne Shelton Long and Frank and Carolyn Price, who suggested my art and helped organize the loan of work for the Second Anniversary Exhibit, and the Huntsville Museum of Art for loaning my work.

I spent three days speaking to various grades in local schools. The students' interest amazed me. Science and technology are important, but not to the exclusion of the arts. The most logical, revered, technical minds in history (Einstein, etc.) have been extremely aware of the creative, artistic part of the brain and its importance to a "whole" individual. I urge individuals, parents, schools and businesses to support the Carnegie fully. Huntsville has a noted museum. Decatur can build the Carnegie into a place of stature, also.

Joe Price

North Hollywood, Calif.

God is neither Democrat nor Republican

Thank you very much for your editorial regarding the Baptist minister who asked non-Republicans to leave. I am a relatively new Christian (five years) and a lifelong liberal Democrat. In those five years I have worked hard to study the word of God and walk with Christ.

Nothing has been more hurtful and discouraging than the hate-filled rhetoric I hear from right-wing conservatives. The truth is, this Baptist minister simply carried out what many conservatives feel: that Democrats have no place in Christianity. I actually give him credit for at least saying it publicly.

I don't understand why conservatives hate us so much, but I can feel their dislike from every TV and radio broadcast I listen to. I have to stop myself from hating them back and the best way I can do that is to not give them my attention in the first place. They have taken Christianity hostage and manipulated it to serve their own agenda.

I weep for all of my liberal, unsaved friends. I am lucky enough to belong to a church (a mega-church, actually) that has come out and said that God is neither Democrat nor Republican. We are taught that God looks at the heart of the person. Bless you and others like yourself who are trying to bring us back to a place where we are all welcome in the house of God.

Margaret Yeomans

Santa Ana, Calif.

Coalition equates 'left' with 'evil,' 'satanic'

Thank you for your paper's recent stance on the disclosure bill. That the Alabama Christian Coalition could have accepted such a large amount of money and not inquired as to its origin beggars all belief. This lends new meaning to the Bill Clinton statement on another issue, "Don't ask, don't tell." Pleading ignorance or naivete does not excuse, and I tend not to believe such claims anyway.

The national Christian Coalition has assailed "left-wing" Alabama politicians for their stance to force disclosure. Having grown up in Alabama, the thought of "left-wing" politicians somehow manipulating events is ludicrous — again it seems that all who do not go along with the Coalition's agenda are "leftists", "left-wing" and worse — these labels are usually synonymous in the Coalition's language with "satanic" and "evil."

Keep up the heat.

Lewis Murray

Stone Mountain, Ga.

Religion and politics
shouldn't marry
THE DECATUR DAILY: You may call me a cynic, but I don't believe the Christian Coalition leadership when they say they are ignorant of any contributions of gambling money.

When religion marries politics there can be only one of two results. Either the one will elevate and exalt the other or the other will corrupt and defile the one. It seems to me that too many of our religious leaders are being motivated not by their love for Christ, but their love for money and their love for power. It is unfortunate that so many good Christian people are being caught in their net.

Larry Brown


Leave feedback.