Letters to the Editor

SC lawmakers need to support teachers, pay raises before there’s a walkout

Teachers and supporters gather with legislators to discuss the proposed “Teachers’ Bill of Rights” on Dec. 12.
Teachers and supporters gather with legislators to discuss the proposed “Teachers’ Bill of Rights” on Dec. 12. tglantz@thestate.com

On Wednesday, Dec. 12, a group of nearly 40 educators, led by the nonpartisan grassroots organization SCforEd, traveled to the state capitol to communicate an urgent message. Teachers in South Carolina are at a breaking point, and the Legislature cannot continue to hold the future of our children in peril by ignoring the issue. I was one of those teachers and am now quoted as saying, “We’re darn close to a walkout.” I neither chose those words lightly, nor intend for them to be a threat. Rather, I wish to voice that teachers are beyond frustrated and cannot wait for another year to go by without action regarding substantial salary increases, protections against increasing demands and the resources necessary to educate children.

As part of this general lack of education funding, teacher salaries continue to languish behind the Southeast average. Faced with low pay and the barrage of constant testing, expensive certification, unpaid duties and shrinking benefits, many S.C. teachers are simply leaving. Almost 5,000 S.C. teachers said goodbye to education altogether last year. This results in a vicious cycle. The less teachers there are in the classroom, the more demanding a teacher’s job becomes.

Our elected officials must understand why drastic and expedient measures are needed to stop the exodus of teachers from classrooms. Let’s not fool ourselves, South Carolina is in the midst of a walkout; teachers are already leaving the classroom in droves and not coming back. There is a clear way to reverse these trends, and I call on the public of South Carolina to support teachers and push legislators to fully fund education and pay teachers!

Timothy Monreal

Columbia

Christmas is about Christ, not just about giving

Some are saying that Christmas is about giving, Please tell the public: CHRISTmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ and Salvation.

It’s history. As a teacher, I taught this history every year so kids knew the truth of why they got two weeks off.

It’s very important that people understand Christmas is Christ /Jesus is Christmas.

The first things we did as Christmas rituals were taken as ways to celebrate the birth of Christ. The tree, He is the Light of the world. Gifts were started with the three wise men. The candy cane can represent the shepherd’s staff. The best Christmas carols are about His birth. John 3:16 greatly applies to Christmas and Christmas wouldn’t exist if Christ had not been born.

Susie Szasz

Lugoff

Marine league still serving ... now as Santa’s helpers

As a life member of the Marine Corps League of Aiken, I have to say that I’m sure not many people know the voluntary work they put in to making Christmas a happy holiday for children.

Having said that, I didn’t tell anyone I would write something on the league’s behalf, but they should be commended for their efforts.

One of my friends of some 20 years and former neighbor, the past commandant of the Marine Corps League of Aiken, Lane Parker, has been working hard doing the Toys for Tots for many, many years.

We just had a conversation on how over 1,300 kids were registered to receive gifts from Santa. The league also collected some 400 new bicycles to give as gifts for those who are less fortunate. That doesn’t include the toys that were collected through donations from good-hearted people and various stores who see the significance of giving to those who can’t afford to see their children experience a bountiful Christmas.

I won’t be shy in saying that I see my brothers in arms as heroes who still have our country and our children’s best interests at heart. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to all, and when you see a Marine sporting a hat or clothing that they are Marines, thank him or her for going above and beyond.

Gregory Topliff

Warrenville

The State publishes a cross section of the letters we receive from South Carolinians in order to provide a forum for our community and also to allow our community to get a good look at itself, for good or bad. The letters represent the views of the letter writers, not necessarily of The State.

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