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Writer’s concern is the safety of children, teachers
Public Forum.jpg

To the editor:

In Friday’s paper (Aug. 30), three opinion page articles addressed the pending school funding vote. The Great Bend Tribune editor begged for citizens to express their views, a letter presented a reasoned study on the actual cost of the bond issues, and another letter gave an emotional appeal on the anticipated “hurt” to the finances of those on Social Security. I’ve already mailed in my vote so I can in good conscience speak my piece. 

Is the editor’s appeal necessary? Unfortunately, yes. The editorial page is a public resource that is slowly disappearing from lack of participation.

As a pastor I’ve appealed to the community clergy. The result is a failure. Has Christianity lost its relevance? There are churches in Great Bend that make a goal of being “relevant.” Why is it that there is seldom — if ever — an expression of their relevance in the paper? The school bond issue certainly has theological implications. 

The financial implications of a large bond issue is not my expertise. For this purpose, I depend on explanations that are reasonable. Three recent approaches were helpful even in their contradictions. All three explored a unique position with the courage to let it, “hang out there.”

As a former Para-Educator in Salina USD 305, a similar bond issue was presented twice over several years’ separation; the first failed; the second was successful and is now completed — or nearly so. The point is that the people spoke and the people listened!

Isn’t it a shame that those with knowledge of the brain development of pre-school age children have not informed us on how early education is important for the future of human — and humane — development? Or, is it? Would it be helpful to hear from those who stand in this gap?

My concern is the safety of our children and teachers, etc. 

It is necessary for our schools to practice for a growing sense of dread. Today, fire, tornado and intruder practices mark security drills. 

Is this really necessary? You decide. 

Since the beginning of the school year, Dodge City experienced three intruder episodes, while Sedgwick and Valley Center experienced one episode each. Some of these were hoaxes, but taken seriously. 

School systems are using a “P-3” approach to alert officials of potential danger. Incidences can be reported anonymously. Wouldn’t it be helpful to see an explanation in the Editor Letters?

The concern of many is the question, “Am I getting myself in trouble by reporting what I see? Am I getting someone else in trouble by reporting them?”

Today, we see and hear about “bullying.” It is timely, particularly in light of the issues of “stranger danger, and intruder alerts!” What is the difference between “telling and tattling?”

This is the rule of thumb I’ve practiced. “Tattling” gets someone in trouble: “Teacher, Betty is passing a note to Billy.” The goal is to get Betty in trouble. Observe that tattling is a human reaction; we like to see someone we don’t like get in trouble.

“Telling” is helping someone in need of care: “Teacher, Bobby is pulling Julie’s hair.” The goal is to care for Julie. Also, telling can awaken someone to improper behavior; “Bobby, what are you doing?” The goal is to awaken Bobby to be care-full rather than hurt-full. Telling is a humane reaction; its purpose is to care for someone whether we like them or not.

Telling can come with a price. Bobby may take exception to being awakened. But it is an important price to pay.

As a Christian Pastor, does telling or tattling have theological implications? Come on, pastors. What say you?

Pastor William Salmon

Great Bend