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Newton Citizen Poll for Feb. 23, 2014

The Newton Poll is a weekly compilation of reader comments and opinions 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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“If a 13-year-old was Tasered in the back on Christmas Day, he probably deserved it. White, black, Hispanic, doesn’t matter. Do what the police tell you to do, and there will be no problem. Raise your kids with respect for others and stuff like this won’t happen. I’m sure the officer had a reason to Taser the boy. … “

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“These snow days really bring out the ignorance in people. For anyone considering writing ridiculousness on any school system’s website, please let’s go ahead and clear up some misconceptions, so you’ll be the most informed before you do it. For starters, because I am a teacher, the majority of my work weeks are composed of 60-plus hours, and only get paid a minimal rate for 40 of them (no overtime in my world). In any other profession, with three degrees in that field, I am confident that my salary would surpass $100,000 per year. Clearly teachers don’t teach for money. Secondly, the cost of many of the supplies that parents refuse to send to school come of my pocket, my household, my child’s mouth, etc. Third, school system employees are contracted workers, so whether your child goes to school 180 days or 18, my pay was decided May of 2013. That would have been a year ago. I don’t make any more money by your kids attending school for extended school days or over the break. I would venture to say that money is not the motive behind trying to schedule make-up time/days for your kids to learn the necessary information. Much consideration is given to the number of instructional hours that it takes to properly educate your child to be successful not only on the ‘test’ but also for the next school year, and for life. With that said, please consider that teachers are not your hired babysitter. If you are tired of your kids after three days, consider how we feel. We have them for many more school days, and much of what we deal with is not the direct result of our input. Further, there is no decision that the school system can make that will yield one-size-fits-all conclusions for everyone. Just as a note, I have appointments and vacations scheduled after school and during the breaks, too, as do most other teachers. Extended days and shortened breaks are not optimal for me either. As a parent and as a teacher, I have to be OK and move on … “

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“Great column and wisdom on Wednesday, as always! MOWR. Move On. We’re Ready.”

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“Problem with Newton is race, economics and schools. All three are bad in the county and state leaders have made clear and rightfully so it is a county too divided in local politics to bother with. Nothing to offer like lake districts or beauty like Putnam and Morgan and Oconee, and the electorate is sold on racial voting. Will not change anytime soon. Highway 278 stretch through town looks like Beirut. Changing Chamber leadership will be a start.”

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“No wonder Newton is so rotten. City Council and mayor ignore voters and apologize after the fact. BOC keeps spending on management. Keith Ellis will not be re-elected, I pray. BOE ignores parents on make-up days. Vote them all out in November. You wonder that Baxter is not moving here. Rotten town with bad leaders.”

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“I would like for the paper to investigate why Eddie Johnson abstained from one vote Tuesday night and voted against the personnel recommendations at the end. What did he oppose in that report?”

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“What I have heard and read recently, Uncle Sam is cutting back on VA benefits. That is a very easy thing to do, if the benefits to non-military injuries are properly investigated. It is simply far too easy for vets to receive things , help, and freebies that are not related to their military service. After three years in the Air Force during 1950-53, in my heart I could not go to the VA and tell them, i.e., I am a diabetic and what can you do for me, nor for glasses or hearing aids. But I could because I still have the necessary paperwork that would get me all the benefits. It’s not right, which makes the real vets suffer because far too many are eating up the budgets. VA benefits should be for the needy only and not for the ‘I was.’”

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“Dear Newton County/Covington. Congratulations, your traffic mess on the Square has virtually ensured I will never visit Newton County ever again! No, not the normal midday traffic, that’s fine and it’s a sign of a healthy economy, I mean shutting down public streets during the middle of the day (Wednesday) in order to make Hollywood rich. Why can’t you make them shoot at night when everything’s closed? Why are you letting them essentially close down access to the courthouse … to do this? This is not the type of community I want to spend any money in ever again. I’ll make sure to let all my neighbors and friends know to avoid your community so they don’t get caught in this mess, a few I’ve already talked to have agreed that they won’t be going there again, either.”