News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2007
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Deseg order harms children in Lawrence County schools

To The Daily: As the saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” In the Lawrence County schools, it is paved with a well-intended, but sadly misguided, federal desegregation order.

In the best conditions, the complexities and difficulties of educating young people cannot be overstated; those who do it cannot be valued enough. Now, through no fault of their own, Superintendent Dexter Rutherford and the school board may sometimes be forced to place a higher premium on race, rather than competence and effectiveness, when deciding who teaches our children. In the end, neither racial harmony nor education will be served.

Lawrence County has an excellent school system whose greatest strength lies in is its small, community-based schools. Many teachers live in the same communities where they teach. Hence, there is nothing sinister about the racial “imbalance” in the staffing of Lawrence County schools. It is the result of teachers of all races and backgrounds desiring to serve their friends, families, and neighbors, not just as teachers, but as mentors and badly needed role models. Children of all races win.

This attempt by the courts to solve our “problem” ultimately does the most damage to the poorest families in the county because the powerful, life-changing influence of community-based role model teachers is reduced as some are carted off across the county to work someplace else in the name of diversity. Children of all races lose.

No matter where one goes, bigotry, prejudice, intolerance and ignorance will always exist to some degree with a few people. This cannot be remedied by court mandates and laws that force common sense and solid educational practices to be replaced with a spreadsheet mentality. In fact, such measures only fester resentment and, ultimately, harm those that they are intended to help.

Chris Laster
Mount Hope

Newcomer should not offer unwanted advice

To The Daily: Regarding Stan Simmons’ letter in which he says “alcohol sales would cure some ills in Lawrence County,” it amazes me that anyone could move into our beloved county, stay two years and be an expert on what Lawrence County needs.

I have lived in Lawrence County for 56 years — 30 of those in Moulton. I was born and raised here and I plan to die here. I support our City Council and their endeavors. We do not live in the 20s or 30s. We do live in today’s world and we are blessed that God has allowed us to live in a country where we are free to make our own decisions in such matters.

I do not remember anyone inviting Mr. Simmons to move into our lovely community, but I can certainly ask him to leave if he feels we are so backwards.

Oh — did I mention that alcohol can cause many problems, including, but not limited to, domestic violence cases, and yes, it can kill.

Linda Blaxton
Moulton

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