Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Refrain from rush to judgment

Dear Editor:

Due to the incredible amount of misinformation being circulated throughout the various social media outlets, pertaining to a recent incident involving one of our kindergarten students soiling her pants while in class, a clarification is needed.

One particular accusation that describes our actions as "wrapping a garbage bag around the student after she became ill with diarrhea and making her sit in class for 45 minutes while she was made fun of by the other students," is not only outrageous, but simply not true.

Perhaps an error of judgment was made when examining what truly happened, but an appropriate state agency is conducting an investigation, whose findings based on facts will be forthcoming. I would ask that all those concerned refrain from a rush to judgment.

A veteran teacher with a 23-year spotless record, as well as a school district that is committed to serving children, is being attacked, based at least in part, on untruths.


Bob Walker


Southwest R-5 School District

Writer doesn't agree with new legislation

Dear Editor:

Good grief. Surely this is a bad joke. Our overworked state legislators have passed a bill, HB1860, making it a crime to photograph inside a confined-animal-feeding-operation (CAFO) or to lie when applying for a job at one, punishable by 6-month to four-year prison terms and fines of $1,000 per offense. Why?

If nothing is amiss inside one of these large operations, why make it a crime to take a picture or deny that you belong to ASPCA? Obviously, there is concern that, if people see sometimes deplorable conditions where our food is raised, they'll be uncomfortable or repulsed. They needn't worry -- there's little correlation between a temporary repulsion and enjoying a fried chicken or pork chop dinner later.

Another question: How? What law enforcement efforts will be required to track and apprehend this new class of perpetrators -- photographers and animal lovers? Will our overcrowded prison population, mostly drug users and pushers, soon be joined by this new category of wrong-doers? It's a good thing some areas recently passed a one-eight of a cent sales tax for law and justice departments.

About drugs: another recent development is the FDA wants to limit the amount of antibiotics routinely fed to animals in CAFOs because these drugs get into our immune systems and become a danger to human health. The kicker is FDA wants veterinarians and pharmaceutical and meat-processing industries to do this voluntarily. Seriously?

Pharmaceutical and meat-processing industries will voluntarily curtail a practice that increases their profits by making animals grow larger faster and helps them survive their cramped environments? When? That will happen when chickens grow teeth, pigs escape tiny cages and fly and cows ascend from their feed lots and jump over the moon.

How naive can some government entities be? How ignorant do some perceive the public to be? Evidently, there's no limit to either or we wouldn't be subjected to such blatant, transparent shenanigans. Besides, our legislators face other important tasks: choosing a state exercise (maybe futility?), state butterfly and state dog.


Kaye Smith

Pierce City, Missouri

Volunteers are valuable to Scouts

Dear Editor:

As we celebrate 100 years of building girls of courage, confidence and character, I want to take a moment to thank all of our volunteers for their contributions to that important mission. Last year, Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland had a nearly 18 percent increase in its girl membership -- an exciting change that could never have been realized without the help of our volunteers.

Whether it's their first year or fifth decade giving time to mentor and change the lives of girls, our volunteers put in countless hours to make a difference. They are often present for the first time a girl conquers a fear, meets a goal or learns something new about the world -- and it is because of their commitment, generosity and heart that girls in our jurisdiction can continue to challenge themselves to learn and grow safely and productively.

On April 22 of each year, we celebrate Girl Scout Leader's Day -- a day in honor of the volunteers across the country who give their time as girls' mentors, supporters and advocates. We are grateful that they continue to prioritize this organization as one worthy of their time and talent.


Ann Soots, Interim CEO

Girl Scouts of the

Missouri Heartland