Letters to the Editor
It was very interesting to read the article and see the picture of the Durbin Baseball team in The Times.
While in my last two years of high school at Green Bank – 1949 and 1950 - I played baseball with some of these guys on the Bartow Motors team, sponsored by Randolph Bledsoe.
I was surpirsed to learn that they had played baseball all those years.
Robert E. Tacy
It seems that we are at a crossroads in this nation where the Constitution of the United States is being consistently ignored. To be clear, this is not a left vs. right, Democrat vs. Republican-only battle, even though the media portrays it as such. This battle is for the inalienable rights of all Americans.
Understand, the Bill of Rights is not a statement of what Rights the government gives to the People. Indeed, it is a statement that the government understands and acknowledges that there are 10 birthrights bestowed by God on all Americans, by virtue of being an American, to which the government has no ability to limit or break. This is the fundamental tenet of the Constitution.
However, some in government are attempting to circumvent these Rights, and to all those that value the wisdom of our Founding Fathers this appears by all intents and purposes as a nefarious and scheming tactic of subversion. The Federalists of the day were worried that by enumerating these Rights at all, it created an opening by which the Federal government could subvert them. Under the pen name of Brutus, most probably Robert Yates, it was said, “With equal truth it may be said, that all the powers which the bills of rights guard against the abuse of, are contained or implied in the general ones granted by this Constitution. So clear a point is this, that I cannot help suspecting that persons who attempt to persuade people that such reservations were less necessary under this Constitution than under those of the States, are willfully endeavoring to deceive, and to lead you into an absolute state of vassalage”.
The latest attack is being levied at the Right to keep and bear arms. Certainly the wording of the Second Amendment has been a source of debate for decades, but with a little research anyone can discern that the intent was for all Americans, individually, to be blessed with this right. From George Mason, called the “Father of the United States Bill of Rights”, “The government should be enjoined against maintaining a standing army, and that a “well-regulated militia”, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state.” And in these trying times, where our society is being steered toward a rural vs. urban class system, James Madison seemed all too aware of the dangers. In The Federalist Papers, No. 51, Madison wrote: “It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part... In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature, where the weaker individual is not secured against the violence of the stronger.”
I fear there is a battle to come – between those that believe in the powers guaranteed by the Constitution and those that believe in the powers of government. Every elected official has taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. If you are in such a position of service and cannot abide by the tenets of our sovereign nation, resign. Your opinion is not greater than the Constitution. The inability to fiercely defend the Rights of all Americans can no longer be tolerated. To the rest of you, research the Constitution, know the intent of its writers, then vote - and we, together, can remove those who refuse to abide by this most precious statement of Rights.
Michael J. Holstine
I am very disappointed in the recent board of education decision to rescind its recent approval of moving the fifth grade back to Marlinton Elementary. It has only been two weeks since the decision was made which is hardly enough time to put together a plan and then the action was withdrawn. I saw the move as advantageous for Marlinton Middle School. The school would only need to concentrate on sixth through eighth grades and not the difficult task of transitioning two sets of students—fourth graders from Marlinton and fifth graders from Hillsboro.
Yes, a shakeup in personnel would have occurred which would have to follow West Virginia personnel rules. Instead of letting this proceed, it looks as if there were some behind the scenes shenanigans or “back door” deals that were in play to save jobs. This is the kind of “double dealing” politics that have marred Pocahontas County in the past. Postponing the decision a year from now would mean the same old arguments would still be happening, and the same personnel decisions would have to be made. Whether now or later, the personnel decisions would still have to be made according to West Virginia School law policies.
The business of education should be for the benefit of the students; this is the reason schools exist. Adults need to act as adults and make decisions that are in the best interests of students—not the adults.
The losers in this situation will be the fourth grade students at Marlinton Elementary who will be forced to move to the middle school before they are ready. Sure, some will adjust, but my worry is for the majority who will find the move frightening and confusing. What few advantages gained by moving up to the middle school are far outweighed by the many disadvantages. Middle school age is a very difficult time in a young person’s life. Think back to your middle school years. It is a time of awkwardness, and puberty is hitting with all of the strange feelings that go along with it. The most important thing at this stage in life is fitting in. Students will change in order to fit in with a group and oftentimes, parents will not even recognize their own children. Anyone who has had children or who works with children knows that there is a vast different between 5th graders and 8th graders. All 5th graders could benefit with another year in elementary school.
Why would we want to send our children into a middle school setting earlier than necessary? For a little band and art? That does not make sense. I feel that the needs of a few adults have been placed before the needs of the students, and the students come out the losers.
I have been asked why a Hillsboro parent is even involved and that this is none of our business. I will tell you why. Every other year, we have had to fight to keep our fifth graders where they belong—in the elementary school. To the parents of Hillsboro students: be on your guard.
In the future when budgets get even tighter, this question of moving our fifth graders to the middle school will more than likely come up again.