Letters to the Editor

Beaufort County high school uniforms a bad idea

Many who live in the Lowcountry know that uniforms have taken hold over the Beaufort County School District. The strict dress code, known as the uniform code, hides a worrying implication on what is truly important.

Does completely focusing on the physical presentation of students improve their education or their ability to learn? As a child of a Marine, I have had the experience of enrollment at 10 different public schools. All but one had no dress code. Beaufort High School broke that streak.

Until my sophomore year, I had no dress codes to beat down my will and my right to expression, as is the case in this school district. My education was always put first before my attire. Though this state’s education does have a reputation for being subpar, a uniform code is not going to change that.

Spirit Week during homecoming is the best time of the school year due to only one reason: we are allowed to dress as we wish. Students are happier and relaxed, knowing that an administrator isn’t going to sneak around the corner and discipline them with in-school suspension, and teachers won’t reprimand them for not wearing the right color shirt or not having a collar. School and work continued as it always had, even without a uniform.

The uniform makes for even more challenges, such as having to have two wardrobes. And the inconsistent rules further prove that it is not implemented for a beneficial reason.

Reese Allen

Beaufort

Nutrition key to school meals

Pop-Tarts for breakfast?

Why are Pop-Tarts an option for our Beaufort County elementary school students? No nutritionist would tell you to opt for a Pop-Tart for a child at any age. So why do Beaufort County schools offer them in the cafeteria in the morning?

This is ridiculous. We are teaching our children that this is an acceptable option for breakfast. As a country, state and county we have the resources to provide our children with healthy choices. Nutrition starts at an early age. If we do not correct this, we will have an epidemic of Type II diabetes in the years to come. How hard would it be to supply healthier choices, like oatmeal, granola bars, KIND bars, yogurt parfaits with fruit for food on the go?

Move our children into the year 2018, where we now know something about nutrition and our health. Remove the sugar from the lunch line. Get with it.

Sara Remigio

Bluffton

How to insure all SC drivers

There is a growing concern about the number of South Carolinians who are driving without insurance. While coverages other than liability are to protect the owner of the car, liability insurance is meant to protect those impacted by harm caused by others. I would like to propose a radical solution: Pay at the pump.

Every gallon of gas sold would be subject to a surcharge (tax) that would create a pool of money to be used to provide a substantial amount of liability insurance for every licensed driver. The more you drive, the more you are exposed to accidents, thus the more you will pay. Those passing through our state would contribute to the pool.

A contract for, say, a five-year period would give a company or companies the liability business, and other types of insurance would be in the competitive market. No one who drives could escape the surcharge, thus no driver is uninsured. A hidden slight benefit would be to encourage the purchase of more fuel-efficient cars to pay less for your insurance.

Certainly, talented actuaries could determine the exact costs, and a courageous politician could step forward as a radical, out-of-the-box, thinking leader. What is the downside?

William Gabrielson

Beaufort

Get criminals off the streets

I can’t help but to notice the rise in shootings, deaths and arrests for unlawful carrying of firearms by criminals in our community.

In light of all the recent shootings that continue to occur in communities around the country, and here within our community, I can’t help but be frustrated with the judicial system that allows these offenders to just walk free, sometimes within hours of being arrested.

Possession of a firearm by criminals I feel is probably the most serious nonviolent crime we’re faced with today. Just this week we’ve had multiple shootings, a death, and three individuals arrested for carrying firearms unlawfully.

We need to do more to punish and keep these individuals off our streets, and as the primary source of news here in the Lowcountry, you should be playing a key role in voicing our concerns for this community.

J.F. Hiestand

Beaufort

‘Island’ is part of island’s name

Your Saturday edition contained 65 paid political endorsement letters tied to the Tuesday election. Of those, 42 identified as being from Hilton Head, while eight identified as Hilton Head Island.

No reason to pay any attention to the Hilton Head writers. They don’t even know that they live on an island — that being us: Town of Hilton Head Island.

Dennis Malick

Hilton Head Island

It’s percentages, not mere pennies

David Lauderdale is usually so accurate that I had to reread his recent column twice to convince myself that he either stumbled or was the victim of typos.

He notes that on Hilton Head Island, the tax on overnight lodging is 10 percent, but then goes on to break down that 10 percent into a nickel and pennies that total 10 cents. Of course, all of the recipients would suffer if their “takes” were so restricted. Obviously he means the 10 percent is divided into percentages itself: 5 percent, 2 percent, 2 percent and 1 percent for the goal of 10 percent. Whew!

Herb Zimmerman

Bluffton

Take action on shootings

Are we really surprised by the latest senseless shooting? Maybe where/when it happened – in a Jewish synagogue during a religious service. But these kind of senseless acts seem to be regular occurrences.

And they are followed by the second set of senseless acts – our elected officials coming out with rhetoric condemning the acts and promising various measures to prevent them. After several weeks, the rhetoric goes away and we settle in to these legislators getting back to their primary mission, if they’re actually in session, of “naming post offices” and little else.

Don’t we really believe it is time to seriously address the use of assault weapons, extended magazines, bump stocks, and more exhaustive background checks – especially for “private” and “gun show” sales? Most Americans, I think, would agree with these as probable issues to seriously pursue.

Notice I didn’t say “take all guns away.” Even I believe that’s far too extreme a measure to advocate.

Will this stop all potential future shootings? Absolutely not, but it would signal our collective action to hopefully reduce the occurrences of them.

Any chance of this happening? Probably not, as the will of the legislators is just not in tune with the will of a majority of the people.

Michael F. Vezeau

Sun City

Presidents can’t have loose lips

In the World War II, “Loose lips sinks ships” was a catchphrase excoriating and encouraging restraint when speaking with others, lest one divulge information unwittingly that could damage national security and the lives of American servicemen.

Words can be lethal weapons in the hands of people holding the reins of power. President Donald Trump wields such power, and his reckless rhetoric has inflamed and incited his base (perhaps to take action), while green-lighting foreign countries to treat their citizens with impunity.

The presidency is ill served by cavalier attitudes and a lack of decorum. The office is impugned when it is run like a reality TV show meant to demean and diminish any and all who fail to demonstrate sycophantic loyalty. The real-world consequences deadly.

The president has a responsibility to take care to be precise and measured. It’s the gravity of the office, the oath “to protect and defend,” to quiet the stormy waters, not roil them with incendiary speech. The president has been setting the stage for today’s attempted bombings, which were interdicted by the authorities, with his loose lips for three years now.

Someone, somewhere was bound to take “the press is the enemy of the people,” and “the Democrats are going to destroy America” to heart and take action. Now they have, sending bombs to Clinton, Obama, Soros, Brennan, Holder, CNN, etc.

You are the person yelling “Fire” in the theater, Mr. Trump, and apparently your base is listening.

Hal Cherry

Hilton Head Island

How to submit a letter

Send letters to the editor by email to letters@islandpacket.com or letters@beaufortgazette.com.

Or you may submit a letter online.

Letters to the editor must be 250 words or fewer and include your first and last names, street address and daytime telephone number so we can verify the letter before publication.

You are limited to one letter per 30 days.

Letters may be edited for length, style, grammar, taste and libel. All letters submitted become the property of The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette.

Letters will be accepted only if they are typed into the body of an email, not sent as an email attachment.

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