The Newton Citizen Poll is a compilation of opinions submitted by readers. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Citizen newspapers. If you agree or disagree with something you read here, you may respond by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 770-787-7303, ext. 1101. Please remember that the Citizen Poll is not a forum for comments either for or in opposition to candidates seeking elective office.
"Four years ago we elected a bus driver to the school board and now in his district (the second) West Newton Elementary has fallen to the rank of 1,011 out of 1,176 elementary schools in Georgia. It has lost over 150 spots in the last year. Some city of Atlanta schools score higher than West Newton. This puts West Newton in the bottom 15 percent of elementary schools in Georgia. Our board member has failed this district and we need a representative to the Board of Education not the board of bus drivers. Please, please, please will someone who is a well-qualified educator please step forward and run. Our district needs you; Newton County needs you, but most of all our children need you."
"Find out the truth about Newton County schools before you vote. Go to www.schooldigger.com and find out where each school ranks to others in Georgia. It will shock you."
"The old man would like to talk about education today. Now the first question asked is what do I know about education? Well, I have a master's degree plus in education, I have taught metal shop, wood shop, architectural drawing, computer, math, science and electronics in junior high, middle school, high school and I taught electronics in junior college. I was also a school administrator before I retired. With all of this I think I might be a little qualified to talk about education. Back when I started I was the one who controlled my classroom. If I reprimanded a student and sent him out the dean always backed me. Salaries were low but we loved what we were doing. I left teaching for a while and when I got back everything had changed. It seems like the students were always right, the parents listened to their kids and the principals back the parents and the kids. The teachers had no say in it. In my short time as a school administrator I found that no matter what the teachers thought, the Board of Education ruled. And now all I am hearing (with a few exceptions) is that the teachers get too much money because they are off all summer and get all those holidays off. I don't know about Georgia but I had to take classes in the summer. This was required and so was going in to set up before the students got there and staying late to get ready for the next day. And then there were papers to grade, hall duty, cafeteria duty, mentoring final testing, etc., etc., etc. Sure there are always a bad apple in the barrel and boy does the media love to play this up. Most of the time this is front-page news while an honor for a wonderful teacher is relegated to the fourth or fifth page, but these teachers keep right on doing their job and that is usually above and beyond the call to duty. The trouble is that when these teachers get near retirement, some principals want to get rid of them. They are slow and don't really respect the principal so the principal nitpicks until the teacher (who is still doing a great job in the classroom) finally retires. What a shame. In all my years in education, I could tell you a hundred stories of how a principal caused the death of a great teacher, how a state Board of Education made a decision for a great teacher in his classroom, so he retired. He was an excellent history teacher but the state Board of Education some 60 miles away knew better. Of course, there are things the teachers have no control over. There are administrators who are afraid of losing their jobs, there are boards of education that have an ax to grind so they run for office and if they win they try to run the classroom. Then there are the parents who do not know what their kid is doing but the teacher is always wrong. So it is necessary for the teacher to be a disciplinarian, warden, time keeper and so on. If there is time they may get a chance to teach. Next time the old man would like to talk about how sloppy this country is getting."
"There was an article in 'the other paper' last week about the scary preacher on the Square. I wonder if the person who was complaining realizes how many people are now praying for her?"
"Hey everyone, she's pregnant again ... pay raise! I continue to be frustrated by the abuse of the freedoms here, within our country's borders, yet we continue to apply Band-Aids to the wounds of other countries that may never heal. I'm with Ron Paul, at least with one message: Let's pull the plug on foreign aid (or at least reduce it), so we can afford to repair our own problems!"
"Sure, it is a shame a 17-year-old teenager was shot and killed. I still want to know how the Black Panther organization gets away with putting out a bounty -- Wanted Dead or Alive and naming the person and showing his picture. This is a man who has not been charged as yet with anything. If this had been a black who shot a white teenager and a reward offer went out, Obama would have had his Department of Justice on it in five seconds. Where is the balance here? There is none! We are in end times, and no wonder, when things like this are allowed to occur. It is left-leaning radicalism at its best. Then Obama comes out with the statement, if he had had a son, he would have looked like this teenager. Yeah, right -- they are both black. True Americans, remember things like this when you go and vote on Nov. 6, 2012. We must put a stop to this insanity! These are the same Black Panthers who intimidated people trying to vote in the 2008 election, when sadly Obama won. All charges mysteriously disappeared. What does that tell us? If you are unhappy with what is happening to this nation, make your voice heard in the next election. We can and must make a difference. The outcome of this election will herald the start of a return to what America used to be or the end of America as we know her? I know which America I want to live in, do you?"
"I'm current with my mortgage payments and would like to refinance the home I've been in for 16 years (with no missed payments) to take advantage of today's low interest rates. I've been told repeatedly that I don't qualify for one of Obama's new programs unless I am or will soon be in foreclosure. In other words, one has to risk screwing up their hard-earned credit status for banks to take notice! What is wrong with this snapshot? I say again, ain't that America!"
"I read a complaint recently from another resident about the parking of the big rigs behind CVS. This space being used as a parking lot for the truckers is out of control. Sorry you drivers don't seem to have a place to park, but that should not be a problem for the residents in our community. Not only does it make that area look now like a truck stop and is creating an eyesore for the community, but it is becoming a safety issue because it's partially blocking two-way traffic. According to the county, they can't do anything. Really? I guess our officials don't really care about the safety of its residents not to mention how unsightly it is. Wonder how long it will be before the drivers run out of space and decide they want to move over to the Walmart parking lot. Then, our brand new Walmart parking lot will look like a truck stop just like the Walmart in Conyers. Won't that be pretty for our county!"
"I would like to comment on the numerous auto break-ins in the Farmington Lane/Forrest Drive area of Covington. I would first like to ask the question: Where were the policemen that live in the middle of the crime area? They are the ones that previous callers said lived in mansions. While the criminals were roaming their street, I guess they were in the haystack fast sleep! The Covington Police Department also seems to be obsessed with sending messages telling people not to defend themselves or their property. They pass out flyers telling people not to 'challenge suspicious activity around your home/vehicle.' They are sending a message for a criminal to come to your property and steal you blind while you idly sit by and wait for the police. Why don't they tell the citizens to buy a gun and protect your property and stand your ground as Georgia law permits you to do? The crime rate in Covington will never improve if criminals believe no harm will come to them while they are burglarizing."
"I was calling about the 12-year-old boy that got killed down in Florida. I wasn't down there and I don't know what happened. I think a lot of people, including the President, are running their mouth about it and they don't know either. As far as 'innocent until proven guilty,' i think that was throwed out the window. Nobody ever think about that. All they want to do is hang him."
"I just wonder where everybody on Highway 212 and Highway 36 are going that they have to pass cars on double yellow lines with a school bus coming? They got behind me the other day and almost pushed me off the road near Alcovy High School because I slowed down for the school zone. I've been living in this area off Highway 36 since August and several times I've almost got hit up on Henderson Mill Road with people running stop signs. Where's our police force when this is happening? My husband got run off the road back in January going to work up 212 because the car behind him wanted to go so much faster than him. We need somebody to control all those speeders. I challenge the Newton County police department to please come out around Alcovy High School, down 36 near Campbell Road and up 212 and do something about these people before somebody gets killed. Don't wait until it's too late."