Letters to the Editor April 9, 2013

Written by Del Norte Triplicate Readers April 10, 2013 05:34 pm

Special thanks to school officials for stopping bullying 

I would just like to give special thanks to Bill Hartwick, principal at Crescent Elk Middle School, and Superintendent Don Olson.

Recently, my wife and I discovered my child has been the victim of a bully’s daily fun time for about a year and a half, from stolen shoes out of the locker room and his cell phone mysteriously vanishing, to being pushed, tripped and called names. My child never spoke a word to me for fear of being called a narc by his classmates or more bullying. I’m certain this abuse would have continued had the bully not decided to take this violence to the next level.

What was meant to be a fun science project turned to a violent unprovoked assault on my child when this bully made the choice to leave his seat and walk up to my child at his desk and stab him in the leg with the scalpel he was issued to dissect a worm as their project.

He didn’t even have the courtesy to pull the blade out when he was done. Instead, he left it stuck in my child’s leg approximately an inch and a half and told my child, “Oh, sorry, don’t get me in trouble, just get a paper towel and cover it up,” even jumping at the opportunity to assist my child to the office pretending to be his friend in hopes that he wouldn’t say anything. And in fact, my child still continued to cover for this bully all the way to the hospital where we waited for hours for X-rays, cleansing and stitches.

Thankfully, light was shed upon what was
really happening to my child every day at school. At a time when school tragedies are becoming an everyday current event, those gentlemen I mentioned earlier demonstrated that our schools will not be a place to sharpen your skills before prison or practice mixed martial arts on others. Instead they are taking the stand against this behavior with a no-tolerance approach to bullying.

I can’t thank them enough and support them 100 percent in this stand to keep crime and violence out of our schools and not waiting for a death or complete tragedy to act upon. I know the children in our schools appreciate a safe environment and hope they may now feel comfortable to speak out if something like this should ever happen to them.

Keith Ownsbey, Crescent City

Difference between school zones and school crossings

Laurel Marquart’s question (“Puzzling signage along Pacific Avenue school zone,” April 6) about no signs leaving a school zone is very easy to answer. It is not a school zone. There are no legally posted school zones anywhere in Del Norte County.

What we have are school crossings. If you look at the roadway, you see those words.

Most people think the flashing yellow light means school zone. Sorry, a flashing yellow light means caution. That’s all it means, nothing more. You see flashing yellow lights on many types of vehicles, police cars, county vehicles, DOT vehicles, road signs like on Highway 199.

Also (we will get a lot of mail on the statement), the speed limit of 25 mph is only active when there are children present on the roadway to use the crosswalk. Read the sign under the 25 where it reads “WHEN CHILDREN ARE PRESENT.”

That means children on the roadway are to use the crosswalk. The children in the school yard don’t count because they are fenced. No, I am not putting our kids in danger because if they are in harm’s way then the speed limit is in effect.

A lot of drivers understand the school crossing. On Northcrest at Pine Grove the speed limit is 40 mph. Drive 25 when there are no children present and you could cause road rage.

Harold McChesney, Crescent City