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We'll vote you out
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Dear Editor: I am a concerned mother and citizen of Newton County. I do not understand the latest cuts by the Newton County School Board. Teachers and students are our future, and without them this country is nothing. They all deserve to be treated with respect. I feel that the people sitting in a big office on Newton Drive have forgotten what it is like to be a student or teacher. Someone needs to bring them back to reality.

You have given an estimated 170 teachers or para pros their pink slips and you tell them you can not ensure the quality of education that our children will be receiving. Have you no sense with that degree you have? Did you waste your parents' money? Then you take sports away from our kids. How dare you.

The one positive thing these kids have, and you take it. Some have worked for years wanting to be like their brother or sister and play. Some may actually be good at something. Some work everyday to keep that GPA up so they can play.

Many people are asking why there is all this uproar because of sports. You should direct your actions to the teachers. Well, I think this is how the school board wanted us to act. If you are a parent who loves to watch your child play, then you are the ones on the sidelines and in the stands that everyone can hear.

The new superintendent will make an estimated $10,000 more a year. When I asked the BOE why, I was told that he took a great pay cut. Well, excuse me. In any place I have every worked, we knew what we could afford to pay someone and that is what was offered.

They could take it or leave it. I was also told the shortage of the budget has not been a last minute deal. They have known all year. So why offer more than we can afford? Supposedly they mailed a letter to each student's house with this information. Everyone that I have spoken with did not receive it. It makes me feel like a box of letters was put in a dumpster somewhere.

I guess we citizens are not as well educated as the board and you have to spell some things out to us.

We need elementary school and special education teachers, para pros and, yes, sports in middle schools. I do not just blame the Board of Education. I blame the county commissioners, the city council, legislators, congress and the governor. The BOE needs to get with the commissioners and plan before it is too late. Collect past-due property taxes. Newton County needs to take a stand and say our kids and teachers are worth it and not give pay raises, car allowances and entertainment benefits.

The change will take more money from our county because parents are going to take their kids to a county that offers sports after 12 years old.

Citizens need to get behind our teachers and children. Do we want to have a community where children are known as illiterate, overweight, TV watching, video game-playing, drug-using brats. I, for one, do not.

Dr. Whatley and the rest of the board members will not defeat with your over-educated, better-than-thou attitude. You need to remember why you chose teaching as a job and think of these teachers, parents and students. Cut pay starting at the top and eliminate unnecessary positions such as five and six assistant principals making $100,000 a year. Bring everyone down to reality. So what if you have to make your own coffee or get your own files. You are no better than the hard-working people of this county. We voted you in, and we can vote you out.