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Hartselle Enquirer

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Cemetery needs donations
Annual Decoration Day services at Andrews Chapel Cemetery will be held on Sunday, May 19.
Donations are needed to maintain the upkeep of the cemetery on an annual basis and will be accepted at the cemetery or mailed to the Andrews Chapel Cemetery Fund, 408 Pine Street, NW, Hartselle, AL 35640 or for more information concerning cemetery plots, call 751-0410.
Thanks very much for your consideration.
Paul Burgess
Andrews Chapel Cemetery
We should reason together
I am the parent of a student at Hartselle High School, a teacher in Hartselle City Schools, a resident of Hartselle, and a voter. Each of these roles gives me a different perspective about the furor that is surrounding our School Board and our Hartselle City Council.
First as a parent, I am very concerned about the availability of drugs in our town. My concern covers all types of drugs — alcohol, street drugs and prescription drugs used for reasons other than for health care. We have made obtaining drugs much too easy for our youth and this ease of availability has certainly created problems in our schools. While the problem manifests itself at the schools, the source of the problem is a teenage population that has too much money, too little supervision and to much access to parental medicine cabinets. This part of the problem is a home problem that parents need to begin solving immediately.
I support the concept of a school-wide drug policy that demands accountability from students and parents. I understand that the Hartselle City School Board is working on such a policy. This is a good beginning solution to a complicated problem. With all the ramifications and technicalities in today's legal system, I understand that the school board can not shoot from the hip in a knee-jerk fashion (such as, in the manner most people over the age of 30 would have been treated) when an infraction occurs. Hindsight, whether from the School Board or the City Council, is always 20/20 and those whose counsel was not sought always become the experts.
This appears to have happened early in this furor. This is regrettable. It is not, however, irreparable. A very wise man once said, "Come, let us reason together." Notice, it did not say, "Let us duke this out in the papers or through the grapevine." The book of Matthew is very clear on the subject of disagreements, and I would urge that this Christian form of discussion be followed. This is the model of resolving disputes that our city needs to be modeling to our youth and to the community.
Secondly, as a teacher, I want our schools to be safe, pleasant, and to be the best possible. Hartselle City Schools qualify on all three points. Those that have not taught or lived any place else but Hartselle do not and can not appreciate what a blessing we have in our school system. This is a system that always places the needs of the child above everything else. I have taught in five different systems in my 21 years of teaching, and no place compares to what we have in Hartselle. It is the best possible place to learn and work. Do we face constant teacher turnover? No? Teachers come to Hartselle and stay.
That type of loyalty is not engendered by a school board that is on auto-pilot. Our schools are always striving for ways to be and to do better. Our inspiration for striving to always improve the opportunities for every child comes from the top, the superintendent and the Hartselle City School Board. Loyalty comes from working in a system where integrity is important. Do people move here because of our excellent city services? No. They move here because of our schools.
Ask any realtor why people move here. Next, ask them why people move away. The answer is the same. Schools. Our mayor and Hartselle City Council have struck a potentially lethal blow at an economic level that will affect our city for years to come.
As a resident it is embarrassing to me to listen to this squabble. I'm proud of this town, darned proud. Other municipalities are relishing every moment of this. Mayor Knight and City Council, our town, which has enjoyed an especially good reputation, has lost much in this face- off of words in the newspapers. Some personal money spent in anger management courses would have been money well spent by some of those involved. This situation is no place to grind old axes.
Lastly, I am a voter. I voted for Mr. Stoner, Mr. Jones, and Mr. Knight. I won't make that mistake again. They have not represented me well in this incident nor in several other instances. It seems very clear that their intent is to eliminate each person on the school board who has served well for several years and replace each person with a hand picked lackey. Before this time, how often did Mr. Stoner or Mr. Jones attend regularly attended school board meetings? How can they speak to the way that Mr. McHugh and Mrs. Puckett have comported themselves? What kind of separation do they seek? After they replace the present board with hand picked plants who do the city council's bidding, where will we be?
Mr. Stoner's constant remarks to the March 25 appearance of the baseball team lead me to believe that he is very thin skinned. I believe it was Franklin Roosevelt who said, 'If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."
My suggestion is to allow the Hartselle City School Board to work out a drug policy that is enforceable, allow them to implement this policy, and to put bruised feelings and petty squabbles aside.
Ellen Hodgen
Council crusade not about drugs
Dr. Lee Hartsell is one of the most respected school superintendents in Alabama. The school system is the most positive thing this city has going for it. The schools are consistently ranked in the state top 10 in all categories. I fully support Dr. Hartsell, Susan Puckett and Jerry Reeves. We are fortunate to have people like them in Hartselle.
Allen Stoner, Frank Jones, Dick Carter and former Hartselle Enquirer editor Clif Knight should stop pursuing personal vendettas in the newspaper and focus on the real problems which face this city. Does anybody really believe their crusade against the schools has anything to do with drug testing? Stoner and company are the people who should resign.
In fact, that would be a good topic for this week's online poll on the Hartselle Enquirer website.
Barry Ward