News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2007


Parks provide chances for special-needs children

To The Daily: I’m writing in response to the recent article in The Daily regarding the city’s alleged failure to provide reasonable accommodations for the physically challenged.

Specifically I would like to address the comment that “nothing has been spent for special-needs kids.” I am sensitive to the needs of people with disabilities, but believe that this comment may have been based on a lack of complete information.

Our city has a history of supporting recreational opportunities for “special-needs kids,” beginning in the Bill Dukes administration and continuing through to the current administration. Parks and Recreation directors Julian Walker and Jeff Dunlap have both been supportive of therapeutic recreation programs. Both Jane Forton, our former recreation coordinator for therapeutics, and Kellie Sims, the current coordinator, are dedicated, passionate individuals who are focused on providing opportunities for special needs children and adults. Many other Parks and Recreation employees are also involved at various levels in providing these opportunities.

Ms. Sims’ schedule for April 2007 had activities scheduled for every day except Sundays. Included were swimming, movie day, bowling, bocce, an Easter egg hunt and a cookout.

Can we do better? Sure. Problems with accessibility exist throughout our society. Just don’t sell Decatur’s Parks and Recreation department short; they do a good job.

Carol Taylor

Media shouldn’t glorify mass murderers’ stories

To The Daily: “In life, he was forgotten. In death, he will never be forgotten” — BBC reporter.

In 20 years when we hear the murderer’s name, we will remember him as the Virginia Tech killer. However, when we hear one of the 32 names of those killed, more than likely we will not recognize them as being one of the victims of the VT massacre. There is something wrong with this picture.

I saw names and pictures of other mass murderers from all across the world, dating back to the 1890s. The murderers are famous, or should I say infamous. However, the victims are soon forgotten.

The media and readers need to be more careful how stories like these are portrayed. Those individuals who are loners, have no friends, are suicidal, and have nothing in life to be remembered by, now can see a solution. Go on a killing spree and the media will focus on you, your past and on why you did what you did. Pictures of you and your name will be internationally broadcast. You are now famous/infamous. People will remember you.

If we didn’t gravitate toward learning every detail about the killer and if the media didn’t show picture after picture of the murderer, what would be left? I’ll tell you. What would be left is a tribute to the victims and their families — a tribute to the survivors. A tribute to the professors who were molding young minds. A tribute to the young man who might one day have been a top Air Force sergeant. A tribute to the gentleman who might have become a world renown neurosurgeon.

Don’t “glorify” the killer in death. The only person who should be glorified in death is Jesus Christ.

Bethaney N. Tessitore

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