Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

April 17, 2013

Opinion on school safety has nothing to do with writer’s job

Commissioner Valentine, in your response to my letter of April 12 to the Times-News, you state that you are shocked at my “willingness to distort the facts,” and then proceed to misrepresent what I wrote. I did not state that I was shocked that the commissioners hadn’t accepted the BOE’s school safety plan. I was shocked by comments that you and the other commissioners made.

In accusing me of distorting, you do so yourself.

The comments made by the commissioners when the BOE submitted its budget questioned the need for the school system to be involved in school safety, raised doubt about the commissioners’ willingness to provide funding for such, and demonstrated a grave misunderstanding about the role of the school system in providing a safe learning environment for its students.

To be clear, I don’t work for MABE (Maryland Association of Boards of Education) and have no reason or interest in explaining their opposition to the bill you mention. I will say that my understanding of that bill is that it would have required Thornton Bridge to Excellence funding — money desperately needed for instruction — to be redirected to paying for school safety. Also to be clear, the fact that the bill died isn’t a justification for not providing the money that the BOE requested and is an attempt to shift responsibility.

I never brought into doubt Commissioner (Michael) McKay’s love for his children and have no doubt that he cares deeply for their safety. I didn’t mention my employer in the letter because my opinion on school safety has nothing to do with my job. It has to do with whether or not I feel my son is safe. I find it offensive that you feel that my concern for my son is motivated by anything other than my love and concern for him and the other students in our schools.

I’m glad to know that there is a plan being developed and that there is a contingency fund in place. I’d be curious to know if that contingency is adequate in the eyes of our BOE.

Finally, I’m troubled by the fact that you feel like the opinion of constituents like me is of no help. That is perhaps the most troubling issue of them all.

Evan E. West

Cumberland

 

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • We concur We concur

    We’re certain that Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, echoes what many Americans feel about the complexity of filing income tax returns.
    When he filed his return, Rumsfeld sent the following letter to the Internal Revenue Service:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Library week

    Public libraries remain one of the best uses of taxpayer dollars. They are open to all. Young or old, poor or wealthy, residents can use computers and read current magazines and newspapers. Compact discs featuring a wide variety of music and
    movies on DVD may be checked out in addition to novels and other books.

    April 13, 2014

  • Sunday hunting Sunday hunting

    Legislation that increases hunting oppportunities on Sundays in Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties has passed the Maryland General Assembly and reached the governor’s desk.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • One cannot compromise on God’s word

    A recent letter asked, “What is it about compromises that seem so undesirable?” Most of us are familiar with John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The next verse goes on to say, “For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him”

    April 13, 2014

  • Ballpark project a partnership, not a government handout

    To the Editor:
    Regarding Mark Nelson’s recent objection to county government assistance to exploring the placement of a minor league baseball team in the Cumberland region, I would answer that the project should be considered a partnership between private enterprise and government. The private support would come by way of donations collected from local citizens, currently banked through the Dapper Dan Club.

    April 13, 2014

  • Editorial Cartoon Editorial Cartoon

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Decriminalizing marijuana lines pockets of drug cartel

    Has the Maryland government decided they like contributing to the drug cartel? Their new decriminalization of marijuana does nothing but line the pockets of the cartel.

    April 11, 2014

  • Speed cameras Speed cameras

    We’ve never been big fans of speed cameras, primarily for two reasons. First, because the cameras are not always accurate, and secondly because many jurisdictions seem to create revenue by installing cameras and issuing high numbers of speeding tickets.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo