The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Our Readers Speak

May 22, 2013

Our Readers Speak - Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Don’t let school board  invade our private lives

Citizens of Raleigh County should oppose the Board of Education’s attempts to extend its authority and power into our lives. In the past 15 years, the advent of technology, terrorism and social media have helped to fuel a culture that seems more OK with giving up the right to privacy; rest assured, the more you give away, the more government institutions will take in the name of improving our lives.

A life without privacy and the associated risks is not a life the overwhelming majority of people would elect. If we value security (safety) in place of liberty, then we do not deserve either.

Specifically, I question what authority the BOE believes it possesses to pry into our lives. Let’s pry into the lives of the board members; let’s test them, their children and grandchildren. Have them provide a list of their associates and have access to background checks on each one of them. We should put them under the microscope and exam their actions before they decide to exam our families.

I am not paying taxes for the BOE to institute a social policy. I pay taxes to educate our children, which they fail to do given the number of graduates required to take remedial math and English in college.

The best deterrent for drug use is creating a more educated populace that finds increased satisfaction through achievement and personal accomplishment, which helps to curb one of the chief reasons for drug abuse.

Through the past 40-50 years, BOEs across the country have assumed more power and made themselves an extended parent. Has that worked out well for children? No. Furthermore, the policy is not sound in its thinking. From a behavioral perspective, yes, it will alter student’s behavior — but not in the manner they would like to believe. You will see more young adults moving away from marijuana to doing harder street drugs that will be out of their systems quickly.

Additionally, if you single out one group, neglecting those who choose not to participate in academic activities, sports or drive and a student does partake in recreational drugs, they may be less inclined to participate in those activities, decreasing the chance a positive influence can be made in their lives that may move them away from those activities.

At 28, I may lack the “life experience” that Gen X and Baby Boomers believe they have. Yet, in 28 years I have seen your policies spiral out of control and create more chaos in our society, making it in many aspects progressively worse. I know a bad idea when I see one – I have unfortunately lived through far too many of them and I simply refuse to sit by and watch another one be implemented without voicing my disgruntled concerns.

You should be taking the $150,000 that would be spent on drug testing and using it to lower the number of academically challenged students that arrive at university doorsteps. You should relinquish your perceived role as parent and focus on the task you were assigned; educator.

I hope the voters will go to the polls and elect board members that are more focused on the role of educating our youth.

Then again, I always allow the possibility that I am wrong, and perhaps that $150,000 would be best spent on re-educating our BOE members in hopes that it produces individuals capable of overseeing our schools.

Timothy W. Word


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