CATEGORY: Letters

AUTHOR: JOER

The Methodist churches of Tippah County and Mr. Wayne Windham would like to say thanks for the coverage you gave our Christmas dinner at Trader's Inn in Ripley.

We commend the writers, Jane Summers and LaRaye Brown and all your staff. On behalf of all, I say thanks.

Eunice Johnson, Council Secretary

Ripley

On Oct. 9, 1996, I went to a parent conference where "drug testing" was discussed. Of course, I voiced my disapproval of such. But I did not present my thoughts in a very good manner. It was my opinion this program is "Bad Policy", but very "Good Politics."

When this policy is instituted all will be happy. The board will be happy because they insisted that school staff correct "Drug Problem." The school staff will be happy because they have a program that will solve the "Drug Problem." parents will be happy because their children will not be exposed to the "Drug Problem." The Med-Tech lab will be happy because their business will increase. Of course, the ones who use drugs will have a small set-back until they learn how to beat the system (that info is available on the street). Then we will all live in perfect harmony.

I must ask myself why I am voicing my opinion in opposition when everybody is so happy? The answer is, we cannot stop someone from using drugs. We politicize the drug use to mask our disciplinary problems, then we correct neither. The education of our children will suffer.

Our county has tried for 82 years to curtail drug use, very ardently the past 10 years. We keep very elaborate record to prove that drug use is down or up to beat the party in power over the head. Whatever these records indicate, everybody sees more and more drug use in their neighborhoods. We also note younger and younger children using drugs.

Then we demand more action from politicians. All politicians promise to be tougher and tougher on drugs. So they put more effort in curtailing the use. We are now at a point that our justice system is about to break into total uselessness if something is not done to help with the case loads. We lock up people by the truck loads and free violent criminals. I wonder how much more of this "Good Politics" can we stand.

Proponents of drug testing believe threat of the procedure will curtail use via fear. This is because they think drug users think like they do. Nothing could be farther from reality. A person that puts using drugs above the instinct to survive has a little different agenda than the average school mom.

Treat all behavior problems in the same manner. Punishment should be in accordance to the misbehavior. We should not distract ourselves from the school's primary mission via engaging in meaningless tasks that serves only the whims of politicians.

I would like to remind the "Drug War"f proponents to remember the Jewish council of 2000 years ago that convinced the Roman governors of Judea to crucify a carpenter from Nazareth because he turned over a few tables in the synagogue. This act was very popular.

Harold Ard

Tupelo

The Angel Tree display is once again in storage, and the red kettles, stands and signs are tucked away for another season. Yes, The Salvation Army bells that rung throughout Northeast Mississippi this past Christmas season are now silent, but they helped to ring in a merry Christmas for over 3,500 persons. Through the generous donations from the public, food and Angel Tree gifts were provided for the hundreds of families who came to us in need. The Gideons also placed a New Testament in every family's box. Gifts were distributed to several hundred shut-ins throughout Northeast Mississippi.

We, at The Salvation Army, never cease to be amazed at the compassion of Northeast Mississippians, displayed by their generous donations to support the ministry of caring and sharing, so that everyone can truly enjoy a merry Christmas!

The Salvation Army expresses our sincere appreciation to all those clubs, church groups, school groups, businesses, individuals and others who made it possible for so many lives to be touched. They either rung bells at the kettle, collected food, volunteered at the Angel Tree, took applications for assistance, packed food projects that were undertaken by men, women and children to make this Christmas possible for others. I wish I could personally list everyone of you by name, but this paper is only so long.

The bells that rung at Christmas are still ringing at The Salvation Army; the bells of hope for the hopeless; help for the helpless; and a home for the homeless. Your generous support will enable us to continue to meet the thousands of needs families and individuals will bring to us when they enter our doors this year.

A former General of the Salvation Army once said; "Goodness is love with its sleeves rolled up". I want to say a heart-felt "Thank You!" to everyone who expressed their love for others by rolling up their sleeves and giving from their hearts this past holiday season! May God bless you throughout 1997!

Keath Biggers, Captain

Commanding Officer

The Salvation Army

Tupelo

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