Letters to the Editor for November 18

Bluest Eye not appropriate for high school

Editor,

As an undergraduate student in my senior year of college, I took a literature class that included several books by Toni Morrison on the reading list. On the list, every single one of these included a strong caveat about content and we were given the option to opt out. I was a 23 year old student, taking a 500 level class for my major. The fact that a high school English teacher selected The Bluest Eye, without warning students and parents about content beforehand, is absolutely appalling to me. I have no issue with asking teenagers to read difficult literature and to engage in intense discussion about it, but I strongly disagree with Ms. Washburn’s comparison of this work to “Huck Finn”, etc. This is not about “good literature.” It’s about appropriateness for age and maturity. Toni Morrison does not write for teenagers. They are not her intended audience. And the searing, graphic images that her novels contain border on pornographic. I’m sorry–but these difficult discussions can be had without reading books that make you want to throw up. Just because it changed your life when you read it, dear teacher, give your students some time to grow up before you require the same of them.

Rebecca Riding

Indian Trail

School district made the right decision

Editor,

I just wanted to say thanks to school district officials, for warning parents about controversial content. While I do think the book should be banned from any grade lower than twelfth, I also understand that each student is different and some younger kids can process things at a mature level. Policies can’t be written though for the one or two kids that are mature enough to grasp it. They have to take into account the majority of the group. Now parents will be alerted when something comes out and have different options. It’s much appreciated.

Matthew Walker

Unincorporated Union County

Sign your Petition To Deny

Editor,

As you may know, over 30 volunteers spent hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars on behalf of all area residents to prevent Marvin from forcibly annexing 1,500 plus homes. The deadline for submitting a Petition to Deny annexation is Nov. 29.

Unless 60 percent of the homeowners in the annexation area submit their petitions, Marvin will be sending 1,500 homeowners tax bills every year for up to $500 – and offering no meaningful services in return.

During our canvassing of the area, the main question that people asked was “What will change if we sign the petition”. The simple and clear answer is nothing. The truth is – “Your children will go to the Union County school they enjoy now. The Union County Sheriff will continue to respond with speed and professionalism. The volunteer fire department will respond immediately to emergencies. Your roads will continue to be maintained by the State. You pay for all of these services already through your Union County and State taxes. Why would you want to pay twice?”

It’s time that homeowners understood that Marvin intends to steal their money and force them to adhere to overbearing Village ordinances.

The Marvin web page tells the whole story. In July they said “True FAQs about the annexation coming soon.” Then that message changed to “Watch for FAQs about the annexation on Sept. 5”. Then the promise of true FAQs to justify the annexation disappeared entirely. It disappeared because they tried to come up with FAQs to bolster their argument that the forced annexation was a good deal for residents, and they
failed.

The Village of Marvin council is a prime example of how easily a very small group of people can run amock and ruin a beautiful environment. Spending someone else’s  money is always easy. With the help of all area residents under threat of annexation, we will win this fight for our individual property rights, keeping this wonderful section of North Carolina free from overbearing regulations and excessive and unjustifiable  taxation.

If you still haven’t sent in your petition, there is still time. If you lost yours, another can be obtained from the Union County Board of Elections at 704-282-1083 or from the Team to Deny Annexation at denyannexation@aol.com.

Paul Schneider

Union County

Concern about YMCA traffic

Editor,

Based on the questions and concerns expressed at the Nov. 14 public meeting in regard to the proposed YMCA site on Cuthbertson Road adjacent to Cuthbertson middle and high schools, it seems that the greatest concern is about traffic.

At the meeting, Union County Public Schools representatives referred to a traffic study conducted in 2006 that would be used as a basis for decision making about additional lanes, a traffic light, and the possibility of sidewalks. Clearly, the school district has much to gain from a YMCA on this site as the parties discuss and eventually could come to agreement regarding shared use of athletic fields and other facilities. At the meeting, attendees were reminded (and rightly so) that a Y on this site would be not just a “Cuthbertson Y,” but one to be used by students and families of Marvin Ridge, Weddington and Parkwood schools.

As decisions are made, UCPS will need to keep this in mind. The earlier traffic study cited most likely does not include the number of vehicles that would be present with students being dropped off and picked up for soccer, basketball, volleyball, swimming, lacrosse, tennis and other sports during the week and on weekends by automobiles coming from the entire western half of Union County.

Uppermost on the minds of those who live in close proximity to the site are recent tragic losses suffered by the Cuthbertson High School community and the Champion Forest subdivision due to the dangerous nature of Cuthbertson and New Town roads. With scores of students already walking home regularly along Cuthbertson Road from the middle and high schools, the addition of more cars in and out of a new parking lot—and more students shuttling on foot between the schools and Y as needed—makes parents nervous.

The YMCA, with a century-long history of building communities through progressive youth development, can potentially add a lot of value to Waxhaw in the form of much needed recreation facilities, youth camps, arts opportunities and summer employment for young people, to name just a few benefits. Because of this, I don’t automatically assume that in partnering with the school system, the group will set out to do the most expedient (and least expensive) thing just to come to quick agreement.  In fact, by doing the right thing in regard to public safety, UCPS has an opportunity to begin rebuilding the trust it lost with many members of the Cuthbertson community 18 months ago with its introduction of a controversial program that was implemented without public input.

No matter what the state department of transportation determines is “good enough” in terms of turn lanes, traffic lights and sidewalks that connect the schools to the YMCA site and sidewalk/crosswalks to adjacent neighborhood entrances, the school system and YMCA decision makers should be ready and willing to go above and beyond what the state requires, if necessary, to keep drivers and pedestrians of all ages safe at all times.

Susan Messina

Waxhaw

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