Letters to the Editor

August 10, 2014

Letter | Horry’s students have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

When Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he believed that all men had the inalienable right given by our Creator, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

When Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he believed that all men had the inalienable right given by our Creator, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I am bringing it to the attention of the state senators and the public that our students (K-5) in Horry County School District are being denied their right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Our students get up before dawn, before their sleep cycles are completed to catch a bus in the dark in order to be in their seats by 7:30 a.m. They are instructed while eating breakfast, instructed while eating snack at mid-morning, and have a silent lunch at midday. Then they have a 10-minute break to play.

At 2:30, they finally get to go home or to day care. By the time they get home, they have had a nine-hour day with a 10-minute break.

When a dad and mother get home from a hard day’s work, they do not need any family projects assigned by the school to do. This should be their family time when they can bond and share their day. It is also the only time that the dad has to read Bible stories to his children and counsel them in life lessons that they need to hear. The family does not need an assignment.

A K-5 child does not need any homework other than a reading log, and flashcards to learn the math facts. If a child knows his/her math facts by fifth grade, that child will succeed in math. It’s as simple as that. If a school cannot teach that child efficiently in a four-hour day of instruction, the curriculum needs to be rewritten. A child can be taught to excel in four hours of formal instruction with an hour and a half for lunch and play. The child also needs a 15- or 20-minute break at 10 a.m.. Some kindergarteners need a nap.

When my grandson went through this horrible schedule, his sleep cycle was completely broken. He could not awaken in the morning and he got home too late for a nap. My daughter tried taking him to school tardy. She was warned about Probate Court. Then she and my son-in-law took him out of bed in his pajamas and buckled him into the van. At school, they dressed him in the van and put him into the breakfast line. He cried all day. He needed a nap and was denied that. The curriculum was too difficult and on a first grade level. We had him repeat kindergarten and he is now in the gifted and talented.

When my son, Jim, was in 10th grade in New Jersey, he wanted to take leadership and figured that he could take it during his lunch hour and eat a sandwich in class. The principal OK’d that arrangement. When I mentioned it to my pediatrician, he looked at me sternly and walked out of the room. He came back with a sealed letter and told me to give it to the principal. Jim never got to take that leadership course. I am sure that he has accomplished just as much in life without it. Evidently, the doctor knew a schedule like that was too strenuous and stressful for a tenth grader. If that schedule was too stressful for a tenth grader, what are we doing to our K-5 graders?

The school boards have the power to change this. The state senators say that this is a local issue. I say that it is both a state issue and a local issue. If the board cannot correct this horrendous state of affairs, the State Legislature needs to put the regulations back on this school district so that we can have healthy, happy schools. Stress is the cause of most illnesses.

When these schools were deregulated by the South Carolina in the 90s, we never dreamed that we would get a yoke like this put on our children. We never dreamed of the stressful issues that would develop. When we were deregulated, I thought that we would come up with something better. We came up with a system that I never dreamed our parents would tolerate.

Our children need to be liberated so that they can pursue happiness while at school and enjoy their childhood. There will be time enough for them to grow up and to learn how to survive in our culture.

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