Steve Chittock

Bullying, cell phones a hazardous combination

I have a granddaughter and nephew who both attend Redwood Elementary in Fort Dick.

I realize that it's countdown time before school is out for the summer, but something came to my attention that I feel parents, as well as school employees, should be aware of. Especially since I have no doubt that the behavior I'll describe to you will continue next year and most likely will occur at other schools if it isn't already.

What is happening is this:

To my knowledge there is at least one, maybe more, kid who is bullying and instigating other kids into fighting with him. He always makes sure one of his friends there has a cell phone so they can take photographs of him while he pummels his victim.

As if this isn't bad enough, he then posts the pictures on YouTube. So not only does the victim suffer the humiliation of the beating, but also having it out there on YouTube for everyone to see.

I can just imagine how traumatizing this can be for a pre-teen. The act itself can bring on taunting and teasing from other students and they can be cruel, not to mention the low self esteem as well as, I'm sure, many other problems.

Somehow, this must be stopped! If allowed to continue, I can see this escalating into some serious criminal behavior.

In my opinion, pre-teens are far too young and immature to have cell phones. High school is soon enough, but if your pre-teen does have a cell phone, as parents, you'd be doing yourselves a favor by checking their phones daily. Of course you may find out more than you want to know, but better now than later, before things worsen and get totally out of control.

Remember, these are your children. Do what you can to protect them. They should be your first priority and concern. Checking their cell phones is not an invasion of privacy, it's an act in trying to keep them safe. Besides, if they do have a cell phone, it's not a necessity, it's a privilege.

The school should also try to curtail the bullying, violence and anti-social behavior. But it can begin at home with you, the parents.

Jill Bausch

Crescent City

Unions could solve school district's 'hire local' dilemma

The School District is apologetic for having to comply with public bidding laws. It's nice to keep local tax money circulating in the local economy, but not at the expense of honesty or competence.

We're going to pay millions of dollars to rebuild the schools. We need the work to be done right. This county has a reputation for preference for the "old boys" club. It's time we started demanding honesty in government, instead of backroom deals and nepotism.

Angelina Bieber was reported to have said some contractors and workers will have to make sure they have the right paperwork and skills the Department of the State Architect requires, and that a training program is needed. Only a few months ago, the board shot down a union-funded training program on the grounds that it would award contracts to out-of-town firms.

Basically, there aren't enough people in town that know what they are doing. Unions solve that problem with apprenticeship programs that teach workers the skills they need. And union workers usually make more money and get benefits. Exactly the kind of jobs we need most in Del Norte County.

A few years ago, a large city in California awarded the city's thousands of bus stops to a non-union shop to save a little money. The bus stops incorporated electric lights and signs, and on one fine spring day, a transit rider sat down on one of those non-union-built bus stops and fried to a crisp. In the trades, as elsewhere, you get what you pay for. I would rather know that the work is being done right. Wouldn't you?

Lathe Gill

Crescent City