Letters to the Editor

Maybe police should receive ‘teacher training’ instead of the other way around

Regarding “Senators propose raises for teachers with police training” (May 26): This idea is so wrong on so many levels. First, the idea of having teachers with police authority remain anonymous gives new meaning to the term “secret police.” As a sworn officer of the law, one of these plainclothes police agents would apparently have the same powers to arrest and enforce laws off campus.

Does the teacher get to carry a badge as part of this new police power? And how about some handcuffs and maybe some pepper spray? An armed teacher with police training means that a teacher could shoot a troublesome student and claim he felt threatened or feared for his life when it turns out that the kid wasn’t armed.

Maybe a better idea would be to give the police some teacher training about empathy and classroom management. Maybe then there would be fewer shootings of unarmed civilians.

Floyd G. Whitney

Chapel Hill

‘Painful’ factors

In “We love the vulnerable, but we’re not martyrs” (May28), Julia Da Silva explained that social workers quite often live at or below the poverty line, but nevertheless they need and appreciate money. I agree.

However, an important factor, however painful and provocative, must be mentioned because it describes the environment in which social worker salary levels are set: Generally, salaries in our society rise with increased responsibility for wealth production and creation. Thus however “unfair,” the CEO of a major company may receive millions while a fast food worker gets minimum wage.

Based on my observations, conversations, and reading, social workers typically help individuals who, during counseling at least, are not high on the “wealth production/creation” scale (some are living in poverty). As a result of the above described factor, social workers tend themselves to receive lower salaries. If for some unlikely reason, social workers suddenly found themselves helping major CEOs, their salaries would, I predict, collectively skyrocket.

Da Silva holds out hope that salary levels of social workers can be improved. I think, unfortunately, they cannot be. Or more accurately, they could be, but our society, operating in accordance with its reward system, will by default maintain them unchanged.

Ralph Edelberg


‘Wasted’ funds?

Regarding “Lake cleanup measures again postponed” (May 31): Oysters or polluted lakes? You can’t have both. I wonder if the different legislature committees know what each are doing.

There’s one group giving $2.6 million to the Swan Island Oyster Sanctuary to re-establish commercial oyster harvesting near Morehead City. Then there’s another group that wants to postpone (again) the Falls Lake and Jordan Lake rules which, if implemented, would improve the water quality of the downstream rivers which eventually flow into the Pamlico Sound and lower Cape Fear areas where the state wants to boost oysters.

You can’t harvest oysters from polluted waters. You can’t have clean waters without watershed protection regulations that have proven to work. I hope Swan Island is a success, but with the current politicians in office, that $2.6 million may be wasted.

Jim Frei


‘What they deserve’

Regarding “NFL will require players who are on field to ‘stand and show respect’ for flag” (May 23): The NFL decision to not allow players to demonstrate against racist and illegal treatment of black men is perilously close to an endorsement of that treatment. In fact, many will believe that this is exactly what the NFL owners intended.

If the players decide to go out on strike in response to that decision, the owners may have killed their own golden goose and it will be just what they deserve.

Joel Watson


‘Outraged’ at funding

Regarding “Plan gives taxpayers’ dollars to pro-life clinic, Christian hunting club” (May 30): I am outraged beyond belief that my hard earned taxes are being used to fund a so-called Christian agenda that was formulated behind closed doors.

Christian Hunting trips? Defunding clinics that serve primarily low-income women and families? Yanking funding out of light rail projects? Pouring money into religious charter schools instead of our sadly under-funded public schools?

I’m surprised this Republican legislature didn’t approve an extra half million to provide an assault rifle to every high school graduate.

Lisbeth Brittain Carter