Hudson - Litchfield News
4 - April 30, 2010
The Word Around Town...
Letters to our Editor
In My Opinion...
by Rebecca Howard
Campbell High School Burns Down … Well, Almost
by Rebecca Howard
This past Tuesday, I left my house as usual, prepared for another ordinary day inside the great edifice of knowledge, known as Campbell High School (CHS). Barely 10 minutes after the morning bell rang, a different sound echoed stridently through the CHS hallways—the fire alarm. All 500-plus of my groggy peers stumbled out of the building and waited patiently with their classes in allotted evacuation locations. What everyone expected would be
a five-minute drill turned into a two and a half-hour emergency situation. After a strange smell wafted from the front office around 7:30 a.m., the administration decided to call in emergency response just to be safe. Soon, fire trucks from Litchfield and Londonderry surrounded the school, and firefighters were seen crawling across the roof with axes in hand. Standing outside in the chilly morning air, I looked on in dismay to a scene like no other: teenagers spread around the school’s perimeter, playing football, Frisbee, or just conversing with friends. Rumors circulated through the football field, where students watched and waited for news on what was happening inside the building. The chemistry class remained clad in their goggles
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and safety aprons, while teachers rounded up students coming in late, who stepped out of their cars and looked around in bewilderment. The sad thing is, although the situation was
disruptive, it wasn’t at all surprising. During my three years at Campbell, carbon monoxide leaks and smoke scares have occurred regularly due to poor ventilation in the school. Luckily, the administration has dealt with the carbon monoxide issue, but recently, new aeration problems have started to occur when smoke from outside fires drifts into the school. It is suspicious to me that the sub-contractor of the Hutton Construction Company, who built our beloved school back in 2000, is now in prison for not following protocol on another project. Could these problems be due to poor construction of the school over a decade ago?
When an entire school day is disrupted by
ventilation trouble, this constitutes as a major problem. What if next time, it isn’t just a scare? How many more hours of learning can we miss because of “safety precautions?” I may only have two more months left at Campbell before I graduate, but I worry about future generations of students who might have to deal with these health and safety issues. Let’s figure out a solution to this major crisis before it’s too late.
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Bike Speed Limit
Now that the walking path is completed on Albuquerque Avenue, what is the speed limit for bikes? Do you think that zipping past children and dogs at 20 mph from behind is acceptable?
Ken Kipnes - Litchfield
Sex Ed for 11-Year-Olds
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The Litchfield School Board has adopted a new Health Curriculum this past week that will lower the age that sex ed topics will be taught. The curriculum committee felt that 11 years old is the appropriate age that our kids should begin learning what has traditionally been, and, in my opinion, should continue being the job of the parents. I disagreed and voted in opposition. I was alone in the 4-1 vote. What we have are some very opposite ideologies in play. I believe schools should educate our children and leave parenting to parents. Do we continue to give up those things that have rightly belonged with the family unit? Give up those things that are what is naturally between parent and child? Why is it that there are those that want to reach into our families and rip into the fabric that makes a family close? We are told over and over to just trust that those we have hired will do the right thing. They will take care of our children. They will do what is right. Well, I am not sure about you, but there is no one that cares more about my children than I do, and trusting that others will do what I think is right for them just doesn’t come naturally. I am the one responsible for making sure my children are raised in the way I wish them to be raised. You are the ones responsible for your own children. So why give up that right so easily? With all the pressures our kids are exposed to, why is it we have to even worry about that pressure to be built into our schools programs?
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As it exists, if a parent signs the “opt in/out” form that accompanies a child home before this topic is taught, that child will be exposed to topics that could have no boundaries. Now, some will say that is an exaggeration. That there is the newly approved Health curriculum. That there will be course guides and outlines. All true. But as always, it’s the details. When asked, we were told that no matter the question, it will be answered. If a discussion begins and a child moves the discussion to a new level, that discussion will move with it. How is a parent, trying to do the right thing, watching out for their kids, doing their diligence going to be able to make a choice then? How will “opt in/out” work then? After the fact? This isn’t about sheltering our kids, keeping from topics they will someday be fully aware of. This is about a parent keeping what is rightfully theirs. This is about setting limits on what the schools or our government decided is best for all of us. This is about raising our own children and keeping these matters in the home, where a parent can choose the method and timing of the discussion. It was said that we are aligning our curriculum to the state standards. We make decisions that deviate from the state standards in other areas. Why is this one we choose to not deviate from? Why is it those 11-year-olds MUST have this training? What will happen if it doesn’t? Will they lose out? Why does the school system believe that we cannot or will not parent? Why do they believe they can do it any better than we can in our homes? We were even told that urban centers start even earlier. Imagine that. 10? 9? 8? Where does it end? When you take a stand.
Jason Guerrette - Litchfield
Keeping Our Communities Well Informed
I wish to commend, compliment, and praise the staff of the Hudson~Litchfield News for providing the pertinent/important issues faced by our towns. Tabulating these issues and printing the
voting records of our representatives on these issues is truly a public service. One only has to cut out this information and review it before each election. No one can claim that they are uninformed.
Also, I appreciate “Letters to the Editor,” in
which political views of most candidates are laid bare. This section keeps you aware of all the developments being debated and how they could affect the quality of life in our towns. Your paper truly captures and conveys the “pulse” of our communities. The pros and cons on each political issue allows for intelligent consideration.
Marcel L. Gagnon - Litchfield
Love is Blind in Politics
When I hear people claim they can find good things in the Healthcare Bill, I remember when Pat fell in love with Chris. Pat could only see the promises of love made by Chris, who would provide for Pat’s every need, with no worries about the future. So Pat agreed to a marriage that was all one could ever ask for. After the honeymoon ended, reality set in so slowly that Pat didn’t realize Chris wasn’t quite what was expected. Instead of taking care of everything, Chris began to ask Pat for a little money here, and a little more money there. Pat agreed because it
continued to page 6 - Letters
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