Letters to the Editor

06/08 What You’re Saying: Jan Williams, Floyd G. Whitney, and Robert Trullinger

Immigration policy is child abuse

I have spent the last 20 years of my life working to prevent child abuse here in Durham. In my professional experience, I have learned that caregiver disruption/separation is very traumatic for children and interferes with child development and social-emotional health. The effects of caregiver disruption can last a lifetime.

Recently, I have become aware that under the guise of a “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, our government has begun separating children from their parents at our national borders. Parents and children (many of whom are under the age of 4) are sent to separate detention centers, some of which are hundreds of miles apart.

In my mind, this could be considered child abuse. At the very least, this policy is creating trauma for children that could affect their development and create emotional scars that lead to problems throughout their lifetime. It seems to me that no matter which side of the immigration issue we are on, we can all agree that abusing children in the name of the United States government is harmful, odious, and damaging to our national soul, mind, and spirit.

This needs to stop.

Jan Williams


Maybe police should receive ‘teacher training’

Regarding “Senators propose raises for teachers with police training” (May 26): This idea is so wrong on so many levels. First, the idea of having teachers with police authority remain anonymous gives new meaning to the term “secret police.” As a sworn officer of the law, one of these plainclothes police agents would apparently have the same powers to arrest and enforce laws off campus.

Does the teacher get to carry a badge as part of this new police power? And how about some handcuffs and maybe some pepper spray? An armed teacher with police training means that a teacher could shoot a troublesome student and claim he felt threatened or feared for his life when it turns out that the kid wasn’t armed.

Maybe a better idea would be to give the police some teacher training about empathy and classroom management. Maybe then there would be fewer shootings of unarmed civilians.

Floyd G. Whitney

Chapel Hill

Lake cleanup frustrates

Regarding “Lake cleanup measures again postponed” (May 31): I am appalled that the Republican majority in the N.C. General Assembly continues to play fast and loose with the health of the people of Wake County by continuing to block the remediation of Jordan and Falls lakes, from where our drinking water comes.

The Jordan Lake rules, if implemented years ago when they were developed, would have stopped the continuing polluting of Jordan Lake, thereby protecting the source of much of the county’s drinking water. By putting the rules on hold and trying to clean up Jordan Lake’s algae using silly “solar bee” water agitators and freshwater clams, the legislature delayed serious scientific efforts, allowing the lakes to become more polluted and thereby harder to clean up.

The Republican leadership continues to disregard the best interests of the people of Wake County.

Robert Trullinger


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