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Rockdale Citizen Poll 2-16-08

"It is funny how the church is 'private property', because when the movie theater was there, they did not think twice about allowing locals to use the parking lot. But, then again, the difference is that business actually cared about the community, while the business there now hides behind a 'church' to avoid paying taxes."

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"I wish that someone at Rockdale County Public Schools would take a serious look at what is really going on at J.H. House Elementary. It has turned into a jail/concentration camp. The teachers and staff are not happy with the wishy-washy way the administration is running the school. How can the superintendent and board expect our students to learn when everyone outside of the 'administrative circle' is miserable? Wake up, Dr. King! This school is going to hit rock bottom soon."

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"I would like to log my comments on Mr. Shawn Geiger. I have worked with him for about seven years as a band parent/volunteer while he was at RCHS and SHS. One of the finest and most talented teachers the school system has seen in a long time. Very committed to music and his students. It's a shame that there are people out there that can lie to get attention and cause such harm to such a fine person. The school system/administration is to blame for not supporting this teacher. They are the ones that need to be replaced. Our school system is badly corrupt and nothing more than glorified babysitters. There is a total lack of discipline and respect in our schools today. I'm glad my kids are out of the public (government) school system. It's worth everything you have to get them into a private school. It's up to you as a parent to do the right thing and make it so."

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"Is everyone in Rockdale County going through a divorce? It seems that way, the line to get one looks to be miles long."

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"Note to the person who commented about a Hightower Trail staff member complaining about voters. The school was NOT open at 6:45 a.m. An election official opened the doors to the building (even though voting didn't start until 7 a.m.) before the school was officially open for the school day allowing students to enter the school before it was fully staffed and able to supervise them adequately. Also, you incorrectly reported that there were students near the staff member who made the comment you overheard. Students were kept in the front office until the bell rang. Lastly, the last time I checked, even school staff members have the right to free speech."

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"In response to last week's, 'Sick of those high-priced teachers?' BRAVO! You only made one mistake. Lunch is never 45 minutes long. High school teachers get 30 minutes. I'm guessing elementary teachers still eat with their students, so they should be paid for having lunch with the kids. I have no idea what torture middle school teachers are subjected to during lunch, but it must be pretty bad. Have you ever met a middle school teacher? Do babysitters really only make $3 an hour? I made that much in the '80s. I'd be willing to bet the going rate is at least $5 an hour by now. Also, it would be nice to get a bigger tax break for personal income spent on classroom supplies. I know teachers who routinely spend over $400 a year on the kids they teach."

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"I am a teacher and I would like to be paid as a babysitter. I do have a master's degree and multiple years of experience, but I will take the 'pay cut' and work for $3 an hour per student. I will even accept getting paid daily for the students that show up and just the hours that I actually have students, which is five hours. One hundred twenty students a day, 3x5=15, 15x120=1,800, 1,800x32,400. Whoever wrote this brilliant Poll should take the King's job. Wait, scratch that. They should be placed at a higher level, like Secretary of Education! Why just think locally?"

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"Let the teachers and workers of Rockdale County Public Schools not forget that Sammy King used to work for Clayton County schools as it was going down the educational hole that it is today. I do not think that the teachers are surprised that this county is doing the same thing. Just think of all the companies that George W. brought to the ground, and people are surprised that he is ruining the country. When you put people in power that do not show success in their job, I am pretty sure that they will not do well someplace else. Rockdale, hire someone with a record of success and the school system will succeed."

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"Six male student bathrooms; six female student bathrooms; 1,700 students at RCHS; one bathroom that the students are allowed to use - priceless!"

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"After over 30 years of watching Rockdale county go from a lovely place to an over-developed, crime-ridden mess, we moved to another state. I continue to read the Rockdale Citizen and realize that we got out just in time. Thank goodness our children were out of the school system by 2002. I cannot imagine them being in it NOW! It is so sad to see Conyers transform into a south DeKalb-type place."

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"Despite the fact that some of our local officials don't read the Poll because a signature is not required, I think it is a very viable tool for this community. It might be noted that while letters to the editor must be signed, the (name of a poll comment's author) does not have to be printed. Because of space, I'm not sure how many letters to the editor would get published; however, this paper does try to print a good cross-section of opinions in the weekly Poll. Politicians, you would do well to read what concerns your constituents. Oh, excuse me, you don't read the Poll. This past week's Poll had an array of topics on which I would like to comment: 1. MANY people in Rockdale County play tennis; 2. In light of recent events within the school system, the principal at Davis Middle School probably feared a cry of racism if he addressed the T-shirt in question; 3. as an educator, I have never understood the logic behind using a school for a voting precinct when there is a church on every corner, but I am sorry that a fellow educator expressed frustration aloud. As to the ill-informed contributor concerning teacher pay, teachers are paid to work 190 days per school year. You would not do what teachers do one day, let alone 190, and I challenge you to walk a day in a teacher's shoes. Visit a school for a whole day and ride a school bus (you wouldn't be a bus driver either). It is obvious that you had a very bad experience as a student or as a parent, and for that I am sorry. As you have hit a nerve among educators, I feel sure that you have more opinions on this subject to read within this week's Poll. Read on, friend."

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To the outraged fashion critic, it is Black History Month. Obviously, you didn't get the connection to the T-shirt slogan; but, also obviously, Dr. Watts did. And, as an aside, you should be thankful that your child attends the best public school around, which is not-so-coincidentally run by a principal with unquestionable integrity, impeccable morals, and a great balance of intelligence and good old-fashioned common sense. Your child couldn't be in a better place, regardless of what his teachers are wearing."

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"In light of the fact that it is indeed Black History Month, I'm befuddled about the reader's negative comment over the Davis Middle School teacher's shirt slogan. Quite frankly, this Caucasian female hopes she wears it again next month in honor of Women's History Month. Since when is it politically incorrect to celebrate the cultural advances of our previously overlooked ethnicities and genders? Or do we really want to pretend that everyone in America has always been treated and represented equally? What's next? Banning Maya Angelou works from the school libraries?"

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"This is in defense of teachers. I worked as a cook in a local daycare center. I saw teachers hit with books, kicked and mistreated so bad. The 4-year-old kids were very mean to the teachers and the teachers got more bad treatment when they called the parents. Some teachers in their 60s where not shown any respect from 4-year-old kids. Teachers are highly underpaid. God bless teachers. I'm a nurse and would never be a teacher. Give teachers the pay raises and respect they earn and deserve."

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"Pebble Beach golf tournament just isn't a tournament without Tiger Woods."

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"Let's see, the screen writers are on strike, right? I see about as much difference in TV as we did years ago in the government when Newt Gingrich shut that great body down."

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"Well, it seems our county leaders are mulling again, this time over the size a business sign can be. It seems all they can do is mull. They need to actually make some decisions and accomplish something beneficial for our county. The economy is already bad, so let the people in business do what they can to attract customers. The county commissioners and the city officials cry about not having any new business here, but all of the regulations in the city and county, no one is going to come here. Just try and get a permit for any business here."

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"My granddaughter is a student at Peek's Chapel Elementary School here in Rockdale County. She tried to extend her hand to a new student and introduced herself to become her friend, only to be told she didn't want to shake her hand and be her friend, because she was white. So much for the dream."

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"Why are Rockdale County's judges so lax when it comes to deadbeat parents who don't pay child support? If Rockdale would follow other counties in Georgia with stricter punishment, it wouldn't be such a joke!"

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"Why does our school system keep losing good teachers? Why do some of the worst teachers and administrators keep getting promoted and/or shuffled around to different schools? How can a principal who can never be found on campus keep their job? Parents, wake up! Start asking questions, visit your child's school unannounced and see how you are treated when you ask to speak with a principal."

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"I want to commend the two Conyers Police officers who came into Piggly Wiggly on West Avenue this past Saturday. When I heard from one of the other customers what they did for an elderly lady with a terminal illness, I was so moved I just had to say something. In today's society, we really do not give much credit to law enforcement. But I can tell you those two officers made an impact on that lady, and those of us who were able to watch their act of kindness. She had tears of joy in appreciation for what those officers did. The citizens of this city should be proud to have you in public safety. A job well done!"

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"On Saturday, two of Conyers' finest entered the Piggly Wiggly on West Avenue at 3:30 in the afternoon. They were accompanied by one of our Conyers citizens, a lady, very ill with cancer and in need of food. The officers helped her shop for her food and Officer Kessler paid for it and gave her $5 for herself, then drove her back home. I just wanted to say hats off to Officer Kessler and his partner for going the extra mile."