Letters to the Editor week of 1-14-10


Zero Tolerance Policy

To the Editor:

It has been brought to my attention that the Switzerland County School System has a zero tolerance discipline policy. What this means is that a student who commits a minor offense could receive the same punishment as one who endangers students and staff. After speaking to several students and parents that have had experience with this policy, I decided to investigate it further.

I want to first make it very clear that I am in full agreement that our schools must protect students and staff from danger while ensuring every student’s right to an education. Through my research I found that there have been an abundance of studies on zero tolerance policies including reports from, The Center for Evaluation and Education Policy (CEEP), Harvard University, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, and the Indiana Education Policy Center just to name a few, their conclusion were all concurrent. The studies show that zero tolerance policies exclude children from education rather than ensuring the safety of all students. The CEEP concluded the following “…there is still no credible evidence that zero tolerance suspensions and expulsions are an effective method for changing student behavior.” They go on to affirm that these policies appear to create “…poorer school climates, higher dropout rates, and lower achievement.”

Furthermore, it is conclusive that these policies increase the risk that students will become dropouts, interferes with healthy psychological and sociological development, breed distrust toward adults and increases the risk factor for these children to commit crimes. Again, I am of full belief that the schools must protect our students and staff. However, in a community that provides no alternative education programs, students that are suspended or expelled are left with no opportunity for education, no ability to get a job, and usually no supervision during their out of school time. Certainly this community has put in our schools highly educated individuals with great care and concern about the youth of Switzerland County. Therefore I am asking that both the school personnel and the community work together to institute alternatives to zero tolerance policies that maintain the safety of our schools without removing students from the opportunity to learn. Many other schools have implemented alternative programs; let us take a look at what is working and move forward in making a positive change.

Lori Wenning

Near Moorefield

Football thoughts

Dear Editor:

I am composing this letter with growing impatience, during half time of the Cincinnati Bengal’s playoff game. After an entire season of professional football and half way through the 1st playoff game I found myself finally yelling at the TV color commentator to, “Shut up”. Are any other viewers as frustrated as I am by the constant yakking?

It would be a great idea if the tech people could find a way for football fans to mute either the color commentator or the play-by-play man or both during the game. Let me be educated about the game when I want to and not have it forced on me over and over and over.

Maybe we could have a chance to throw a challenge flag at the TV executives.

Darrell Hansel

Mount Sterling

Flu vaccinations

To the Editor:

The Center for Disease Control recommends influenza vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu, both seasonal and H1N1. The week of January 10th-16th, marks this season’s National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), a national observance to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination beyond the holiday season.

Because supplies of the 2009 H1N1 vaccines have increased dramatically, CDC is now encouraging everyone who has been patiently waiting to receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine to get vaccinated at this time. It’s particularly important that health care workers get their 2009 H1N1 vaccine.

The general public can still receive the H1N1 vaccine at the Switzerland County Health Department free of charge. The local health department would like to say thank you for everyone’s patience and cooperation this flu season.

Chris See

Switzerland County

Health and Safety Coordinator