A Couple Of Letters
By Alex Saitta
September 4, 2015
After seeing Vester Flanagan gunning down those two journalists, video-taping it all, sending off a 23-page manifesto, and then calling ABC news while he was on the run, I’ve reached the conclusion we are reaping the seeds we have sown.
The root cause of all of this has been the breakdown of the family, which started with the divorce craze in the 1970’s. Today, too many children are growing up unsupervised and the parental vacuum in many homes has been filled by the media/ Hollywood/ TV. Seeking the all mighty dollar and appealing to the sinful side of human nature, the media is peddling titillating violence, promiscuous sex, drug use, kill and be killed video games or whatever gets them ratings/ viewers. Our developing children are seeing this all, absorbing it all, and unfortunately too many are becoming what they have been fed, and then are acting it out.
The media coverage makes these young killers house-hold names — Dylann Roof and James Holmes, glamorizing them with infamy, encouraging more.
This was not the cultural dynamic of in the 1950’s. Today it is; heck today we have terms like “snuff movies”. No need to say more; our society is in a self-feeding downward spiral that we must grab hold of and stop.
So far the talking heads in the media are blaming guns and mental illness. Neither are the root cause. When are our elected leaders going to point a finger at the breakdown of the family and the media who is feeding our children all this violence?
I want to respond to the article about the employee sick leave policy.
The school district gives employees 12 to 15 paid sick days a year. Employees can accumulate the paid sick days they don’t use. At retirement, the district allows employees to use the first 90 days to extend their service time by three months for retirement pay purposes. It then pays those retiring employees a bonus equal to their daily pay rate for the next 45 unused sick days. It is called a bonus because they are paid twice for those days.
For example let’s say an employee is working 200 days and making $60,000 ($300 a day). He is given 13 sick days. Whether he takes zero or 13 sick days that year, he is paid $60,000. If he didn’t take any sick days, at retirement he would receive a bonus of $3,900 (13 sick days not used x $300 = $3,900).
Retiring employees could retire with up to a $20,000 bonus for unused and accumulated sick days. This bonus gives employees incentive not to use all their sick days through the years and stay with the district for the long haul. It is a quite generous sick leave policy.
There is another bonus for employees who leave the district for reasons other than retirement, and this was the subject of the recent vote. The district administration recommended the board pay those departing employees $50 a day for up to 45 days of accumulated, but unused sick days.
I voted against this bonus for the employees leaving the district. The district is spending a lot of additional money now to boost pay. Additionally, medical costs are going through the roof. The district pays most of those increases. Money is tight in the budget and I’d rather see that $50 bonus money spent in the classroom or used to sure up compensation for existing employees.
School Board Trustee – Pickens