News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Parents and teachers must set good example

It is really disappointing to me that Tom Earwood is trying, in my opinion, to lighten this situation by saying, "I think it was horseplay that went too far... There are always two sides to a story, and some things were not exactly as they should be. My feeling is things were blown out of proportion" ("Morgan BOE head believes teacher's actions horseplay," Oct. 4).

While I agree that there are two sides to every story and it probably didn't happen to the extreme, I feel that any version of this story, if any of it happened, would be unacceptable.

We have gotten more concerned with being friends with our children and not being the role models we should be. I understand there are children who do not react and learn as well in school as others. I also understand that you have to treat/react to them a little differently to help them, but there is a big difference between helping them on their level and getting on their level.

If we think we are helping our children, as teachers or parents, by being on their level, we are doing them a great disservice. How are our children going to learn how to act appropriately and whom do we think they are going to learn it from if we (teachers and parents) aren't the ones who do it?

While I agree that parents have the main responsibility in bringing up our children, our teachers are the ones who are with them eight hours a day, five days a week, for 18 years.

Teachers should be held to a high standard as far as their actions go.

Ginger Burke


Officials heard objections, changed relocation plan

Several weeks ago, a neighborhood meeting was held at Fairview Baptist Church with reference to the relocation of the Sixteenth Avenue Fire Station to Pop Oliver Park. Of the 50 or so people in attendance, no one was in favor of the move. It is my understanding that subsequent to that meeting, Pop Oliver Park has been removed from consideration.

Kudos to Mayor Don Kyle, Fire Chief Charlie Johnson and Underwood Associates for being attentive and sympathetic to the community's suggestions.

S. Pippen


Woodward book shows Rumsfeld’s incompetence

Bob Woodward's book, "State of Denial," has caused quite a stir and raised again the recurring suggestion that Donald Rumsfeld should resign. Doubtless the reaction would be much greater if all those who'd heard the brouhaha were actually to read the book. "State of Denial" is an endless description of faux pas in the planning and execution, not of the Iraq War, but of the postwar effort. Mr. Rumsfeld comes across even more arrogant and egocentric than his public persona. That's quite an accomplishment.

Mr. Woodward convinces us mainly by his lack of effort to convince. Episodes are simply described, without comment, letting words and actions speak for themselves. The fact that so many participants were willing to go on record with their memories and observations is remarkable, and it likely indicates a deep dissatisfaction on the part of these players with how things were botched, and with the ensuing mess in which we find ourselves.

Some readers may likely complain that the scenes described were "cherry-picked" (like evidence for weapons of mass destruction) in order to support an indictment of the administration's Iraq policies. Such a criticism is undermined by Mr. Woodward's presentation: He simply reports what happened, leaving the reader to recognize each misstep and miscalculation as the precursor to some corresponding aspect of the current quagmire. Mr. Rumsfeld continually ignored or discounted the plethora of voices warning about the potential for disaster.

Americans admire the arrogant, egotistical iconoclast who goes his own way, convinced he is right, and succeeds in spite of opposition. But arrogance and egotism coupled with monumental incompetence and failure is another thing altogether. Mr. Rumsfeld should not just be fired. He should be arrested, tried and convicted for his arrogance, egotism and especially incompetence that has led to the unnecessary deaths of thousands of Americans and countless innocent Iraqi civilians.

Chuck Puckett


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