Letter to the Editor: Children Come First 08/01/2019

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Children Come First

To the Editor:

  In response to Mr. James Rush’s article in edition date July 18th, 2019, regarding the extended lunch program to junior high students at Switzerland High School I have the following comments:

  Whoa! Hold on partner! Easy to see that you are clearly upset and beyond. Better to rein in that intolerant rhetoric and fury. Take a deep breath. Let’s take a minute to unpack the accusations you are making and see if we can put some sense to the issue at hand. I mean accusing our school Superintendent of turning our parents and students into “socialists” by providing lunch at no out of pocket cost to them is to put it nicely…overreach. Further indicating that they will become “enslaved” to such a system is beyond ridiculous.

  Simply put these sentiments are just plain false and not founded on any truth. I offer the following example to make the point.

  We have reared our seven children here in Switzerland County and currently have seven of our eight grandchildren who live here or very nearby. There was a time when our children were young when we qualified for the free lunch program and took advantage of it out of necessity. Back then this program was only offered to us “poor” folks who qualified. It was a tremendous help to us at the time and took a lot of pressure off the already demanding financial load we shouldered. In those days if it were not for the generosity and kindness of our family friends and yes federal assistance of such programs our lives would have been significantly more difficult.

  Fast forward 25 years. All of our children are hardworking, financially responsible tax paying citizens. Additionally, they are kindhearted and generous. They know how to “pay it forward” so to speak. Oh and by the way last time I checked none of them were “enslaved socialists.” Where these extreme ideas come from is a subject for another discussion for a different day. Seems to me this fervor and phobia of becoming socialists is on the rise. Much like the communist phobia and rhetoric of the 50s and 60s.

  Following Mr. Rush’s line of logic, any federal or state dollars used for the purpose of support back to the American public, to lighten their financial burden, is a curse. So to the farmers and other Americans who need help to make it through difficult times or receive financial support in the form of tax breaks, be forewarned: You are becoming enslaved socialists. Yikes! And …Hogwash!

  I applaud and thank Mr. Rod Hite and any of the other administrators who went after these dollars and secured them for our precious children’s future. That meal means more than we might imagine. For some I know this may be the best or only decent meal of the day. That we are able to feed our children at school is a blessing we can all be thankful for and yes, even proud of. Furthermore, this program should remain available to all children and not just the financially challenged.  Seems we can justify endless funding for war but when it comes to health and education we stumble. This is America. We can afford it.

  Tell you what Mr. Rush. I make you this offer. Calculate your out of pocket tax contribution to this program and I will be glad to reimburse you. I think a dime would more than cover the cost. You can keep the change or choose to give the rest away.

Josh Fletcher

Florence, Indiana