Letters to The Editor – June 16th, 2019

Published 4:25 pm Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Solution or Band-Aid?

Editor, Smithfield Times
Great job by shops in Smithfield and Karen Cornett (May 29 Times) for soliciting donations to help erase the Isle of Wight school lunch debt, specifically for seniors who would not be able to walk. While the town has done a great job helping with the immediate need, why do you continue to solicit donations which enables parents who can pay, not to pay since they know Smithfield will come to the rescue and pay their debt?
What are the issues involved? What is the breakdown of parents who should be able to pay versus those that can’t (or can you even know)? What can we do to fix the problem and not just Band-Aid it?
Denise Hamilton

Memories Of Westside

Editor, Smithfield Times
This Friday Kevin Evans and SHS Charities will host the Inaugural Ham City Classic Golf Tournament and Honors Banquet at Cypress Creek. At Westside High School the young, energetic Coach Phillip Smith III knew and implemented team-building way back before the term became popular. Our antiquated buildings, books or supplies did not define who we were nor what we have become. Coach Smith and the Westside Seahawks Football Team were the winningest team in the history of Westside.

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At Westide, we were held to the highest expectations for learning in the classroom and in extracurricular activities. Our Science Fairs were second to none. We were privileged to have some of the most brilliant minds as our teachers — Charles D. Cherry, Clenton Blount Jr, Frendessa Baynard Peoples, Frank D. Hendricks and Hazel Clemons. The Band was led by the influential Fabius Tucker, the Choir by English expert Marie C. Day and the girls’ basketball team by the uncompromising Rosie Pendleton Riddick Bracey. The administration team was Clarence M. Gillis, Willie B. Riddick, Virginia Pretlow Lyttle and Robert E. Harrell, Sr.
How memorable were the assemblies before the prom on our behavior? All now rest from their labors except Smith, Cherry, Blount and Hendricks Many of our teachers migrated from North Carolina. You saw them at school and on Sunday there were members of local congregations. We were with them at least six days out of the week.
When mandatory full integration took place in 1969, we learned to work, play live and worship with faces that did not reflect our own. When I began working in public schools, I saw young people of different races readily accept each other in the classroom and at play never fearing each other. Cherished friendships began and remain. Children are much more honest, open and resilient than adults are. They were and still are the impetus and unparalleled good for much needed change in how we view each other.
We owe a debt of foresight, deep gratitude and remembrance for Kenneth Pretlow, David Godwin, Frank Bowman, Clarence Walker, R.H. Blount and every teacher and staff member for showing us the way. We are the rich recipients of their labors.
When you look in the mirror at youself, may it reflect love.
Martha Ford Evans Jackson

Violins at Carrsville Elem.

Editor, Smithfield Times
I attended two Carrsville Elementary School violin concerts by the fourth and fifth graders on June 3 and 5. I was very impressed by these students and their talent playing this instrument. This program was started this year by the principal, Mr. Clint Walters. Unfortunately, the first teacher hired had to resign. Mrs. April Cull was hired mid-year and has done a great job getting the students ready for the concerts. Mr. Walters mentioned the students had about five months out of the school year to learn the fundamentals of the violin.
Thanks to Dr. Jim Thornton and the Isle of Wight County School Board Members for funding this class at Carrsville Elementary. Hopefully, funds can be used to continue this class in the middle and high school for those students who would like to learn more about this instrument. I understand that many of the students have asked their parents to purchase one for the home, but it’s too costly. I would also like to brag about the Senior of the Month Banquet that I was honored to attend on May 23 at the Smithfield Center. Dr. Thornton started this four years ago where the high school teachers at Smithfield and Windsor High choose an outstanding senior each month to be recognized at the School Board Meeting. I’m proud to say that five out of the eight chosen from Windsor High School this year were former Carrsville Elementary School students. Awesome things happen each day at this small school in the southern end of the county! Way to go, Bulldogs!
Sharon Harrell

‘Pride’ takes commitment

Editor, Smithfield Times
I just need to say something.
You can’t say gays shouldn’t get married, can be turned down from bakeries for cakes, should have to just deal with discrimination, call their love a ‘choice,’ say Gay Straight Alliances shouldn’t be allowed in school and then wear rainbow this month and say things like “love>hate” and “gay pride!” 
I am finding so many people do things such as have signs outside their home saying, “Hate has no place here,” but then argue how a Christian prayer should be held every day for everyone. And how it’s American to be Christian and only Christian. And then fly confederate flags in their yards.   When it comes to putting up a sign, wearing a sticker and claiming to be open minded, people are quick to claim themselves to be exactly that, but have no action behind it.
Pride month, is a month celebrating the strides made by others. Strides that were told like many things are today: “Why are you bothering? You’re just going to get upset and nothing is going to change.” Or “That’s just the way it is” or “Then just move to where it’s okay” or even “Well, my belief in __ is right, so that’s why everyone should do that.”
If you find yourself saying these things, you need to really rethink your words, and where you truly stand. A rainbow rubber wrist bracelet isn’t just a bandwagon to jump on, it’s a commitment for trying to create a better world for everyone, not just the ways of living you approve of.
Jessica Packer Jackman

Beware of Deceit?

Editor, Smithfield Times
Mundus Vult Decipi is Latin for “The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived.” Truth is too complex and frightening, the taste for truth is an acquired taste that few acquire. Be wary of those who lived lives of deception. Your trust should be earned, not given.
William Faulkner