Readers’ Forum, April 21, 2022: Willing to Pay for Improved Schools | Letters to the Editor

Willing to pay for improved schools

I am for the school referendum because I want my county to have good public schools and I am willing to pay to support them. By voting yes in this referendum, we citizens will act responsibly. We will make it possible to repair and replace dilapidated secondary schools and follow an adequate maintenance plan for elementary and middle schools.

I’m willing to pay a little more property tax so our high schools have enough outlets for all the electronics the people who built the schools in the 70s couldn’t imagine.

I am ready to pay to have healthy ventilation, heating and air conditioning that work. Now, some classrooms are cold in winter and hot in summer, and others are the other way around.

I’m willing to pay for natural light. At the time schools were built they did not have double-glazed thermal windows, and some theorists thought the windows were merely inconvenient, so they built schools with lots of rooms with no windows at all; we now know that natural light and an outside view actually helps students learn better and helps prevent depression.

I’m willing to pay for well-equipped agriculture classrooms so our schools can teach students who want to be great farmers. For the best rooms for other professional training. For the best scientific and technological laboratories. For large spaces for the large art and music programs of our schools. And for enough space for all the children to have lunch comfortably.

My own kids won’t be able to use any of that stuff. One is already a graduate and the other is in his second year. But I will benefit because the community will benefit from having better educated children and hopefully having people moving to the city because our public schools are great.

Our public schools belong to all of us. And sometimes we all have to pay to improve our schools and keep them in good shape.

Vote “yes” on May 3.

—Samuel J. Martland, Terre Haute

Help us fight for our future

I am Leif Speer, a fifth grade student at Dixie Bee Elementary School and a representative of EARTHlings (Environmental Activists for a Resilient Terre Haute). I joined EARTHlings because I have to fight for our future.

From my point of view, if we do nothing about climate change, all the work we put into school, all the work we put into university, all of that will be worth nothing. We must fight for our future; the adults of this world do nothing, so we have to.

I spend my days fighting for the climate, but that’s not why I’m here today. I’m here to ask you to do one thing, try to help our climate. The EARTHlings are planning a march on Earth Day, Friday April 22, and we would love for you to come. We will walk from the library to the courthouse and then downtown. We will meet at 3:30 p.m. and end at 5:30 p.m. We hope to see you there to help us fight for our future.

—Leif Speer, Terre Haute

Recycle the best Earth Day gift

We all know what it feels like to see a local beach or park full of trash. But visual pollution is just the tip of the iceberg.

Consider a tin can. Aluminum is made from bauxite ore. Bauxite is extracted from surface mines. The process of harvesting the ore kicks up a cloud of red dust that kills surrounding vegetation, ruining the livelihoods of farmers in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.

Once the bauxite is harvested, it must be processed to form the box. The aluminum production process releases PFCs, gases with a global warming potential up to 9,200 times that of carbon dioxide. Producing aluminum cans also emits twice as much carbon dioxide as a plastic bottle. According to the Keep America Beautiful Waste Survey, aluminum cans are thrown away almost five times more often than plastic water bottles.

If that trash can never sees the inside of a recycling bin, all that pollution will have been generated for just one drink. But, if the can is properly recycled, it can be reshaped to live another life. With recycling, single-use products are actually multi-use.

Ensuring that every can or bottle is recycled is the best gift you can give the planet this Earth Day.

— James Bowers, Managing Director, Recycling Awareness Campaign (

The school plan is for the kids

In January 2022, it was exciting to hear so many people speaking passionately at the school board meeting in favor of a capital city referendum for schools in Vigo County and for the community. I was thrilled that our Vigo County School Board voted 6-0 to support a comprehensive facilities plan to build new academic spaces in middle and high schools in Terre Haute North, Terre Haute South and West Vigo while renovating other extracurricular spaces at each site. .

The Tribune-Star reported on many troubling high school installation issues, such as our roof drains failing, our chillers needing replacement, our temperature control systems needing to be updated, our plumbing that needs fixing, and the list goes on. Yes, these facilities issues are now very real challenges in our high schools and WVMS.

However, the main reason we need to support the Global Facilities Plan is for our children. This is not a referendum vote on our buildings, but a referendum vote on our children. Our students need upgraded and up-to-date facilities and newer technologies in order to gain a better education. Our classrooms and other building spaces should be intentionally designed to meet the educational needs of our students

Our community must support the referendum to help our children and the generations that follow them prepare for the future. Our students must be prepared to engage and work successfully in our community. We need to prepare them for the academic and professional challenges of tomorrow, and they need our help.

Please vote “yes” on May 3 to the school referendum question to support our students, our schools and our community.

— Ryan Easton, Principal, West Vigo Middle/High School

Gender should be a clear distinction

The sex?

What’s the problem?? This transgender sports situation, you know, who is allowed to participate in a sporting event, depending on whether the athlete wants to be a woman or a man today and be different tomorrow, can be easily resolved. The block or square on a birth certificate, sex or gender, is pretty clear it is filled in, male or female. This should be the guide to sports participation.

When the sporting event is clearly defined, such as a girls’ swim meet, the birth certificate should be the guide – female you race, male you don’t. We are all born male or female, not what you think you want to be later in life. Incidentally, this is also what God intended us to be as humans when we were designed, female or male. It couldn’t be clearer.

— Chris S. Wood, Brazil

Democracy absent from legislative action

Groups of old white men in state capitols and in Washington, DC, passing laws to govern what a woman can do with her own body is not democracy. May they endure nine months of pregnancy, suffer the pain of childbirth and put the babies to bed.

Then they can vote.

—Joyce L. Hamilton, West Terre Haute

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Melvin B. Baillie