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Newton Citizen Phone Poll for Dec. 1, 2013

The Newton Poll is a weekly compilation of reader comments on subjects of local interest. The Newton Citizen publishes as many comments as space allows. Comments, which may be edited for space or content, are published anonymously on Sunday. To submit a comment, call 770-483-7108, ext. 403, email: poll@newtoncitizen.com or complete the online form.

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“I am worried about children in Newton County elementary schools; they are not safe. The bullying story at Rocky Plains really worries me as more kids than the little girl have been bullied. … Did the bomb threat at this school ever get resolved, and if not, why not? Did the principal know anything about the bullying and why has there been no press release from the school system telling us parents what they will be doing to make all children safe.”

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“Paraphrased from a Forbes Magazine article: While American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) — the health insurance industry super lobby — was cutting a deal with the White House leading to its stated support of the proposed Obamacare legislation, they were secretly funneling huge amounts of money to the Chamber of Commerce to be spent on advertising designed to convince the public that the legislation should be defeated. How much money? A stunning $102.4 million spent over just 15 months. While one would not think that so much money could be spent in secret, AHIP pulled it off by utilizing a completely legal process of funneling the cash to the Chamber under the radar while putting the giant expenditure on their books under the simple heading of ‘advocacy’.”

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“I am ashamed to live in Newton County. The Chamber brings garbage business to our county — fast food, fast food, fast food. Please BOC, hire a brand new COC team. … The BOC has horrible oversight of roads. The BOE has people on it too long who have sinking SAT scores to show for it. The school system has new people in most top positions so there is a total vacuum at the top and scores are likely to drop, drop, drop. The city of Covington officials waste money on lights and the BOC on moving exit signs while small businesses shutter their doors and litter is all over the highways in this county. No wonder newcomers go to Madison and Oconee. Who can blame them.”

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“I would be real interested to know more about the bullying in NCSS starting with more info on the little girl bullied at Rocky Plains. Teachers say there is bullying from the county office by adults, so I would like to know more about that also. Something is causing our schools to perform bad so I wonder if it is bullying by adults on adults and morale has sunk so low. Now I see why private schools keep popping up all over the county and even expanding to larger pieces of land.”

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“I think the education in Newton County school system is part of what brings in one fast food chain after the next and low-end stores, pawn shops, tattoo parlors and 400,000 tires sitting out for sale on 278, the most unsightly corridor through any town of our size. The Chamber has much work to do if it wants to recruit people to Newton. They are bypassing us for Morgan and Oconee and Lake Oconee and Lake Sinclair and Social Circle daily. Just think if you have kids. Would you really want them at Newton or Alcovy High? Eastside can only hold so many and even it is having academic challenges. If you do not have children, do you think these schools are good for property values? They are not. That is why Covington Academy and Peachtree Academy and Piedmont Academy and, shall I name more, are opening and growing. People are sick of paying tax dollars to NCSS; that is why SPLOST nearly failed, and I imagine the next one will fail. There are too many people in NCSS who do not know what they are doing and who hire their board member buddies and it is now clear — the school system is the absolute pits.”