Slippery Rock schools mourn students' deaths
We in the Slippery Rock Area School District have begun our New Year in a most tragic and violent manner. We have witnessed and are now suffering from the loss of four beautiful, young lives. Our school community will never be the same, nor will we fully recover from this huge loss.
Recently, our high school reopened after what is typically a joyous and festive holiday break. Instead, the teachers, staff and other support group members assembled to discuss the first steps in recovering from our tragic loss. The clear but challenging focus was to accommodate the needs of hundreds of students who were responding to the deaths of their friends and their own grief. It is a tribute to the character of our students, parents, and teachers, staff and community members that we were able to take that first step successfully. I am personally appreciative of all of the outpouring of love and support shown our school community.
Our sincere sympathy goes out to the families and all others who are grieving this huge loss. It is always unfortunate in these tragic situations that very personal matters become so public through broad news coverage. It is important to have personal time to grieve. It is also very important to keep in regular thought and prayer the grieving families long after the news broadcasts have finished. Our strength to endure comes from our faith, families and friends -- friends in the form of students, teachers, staff and others.
Finally, I am reminded of the difficult but imperative responsibility of parenting teen-agers, especially at this extremely difficult hour. To all the parents suffering great loss at this time and parents in and out of our school district who are trying daily to do the right things as parents, thank you!
ROBERT J. WATSON,
Slippery Rock, Pa.
X The writer is president of the Slippery Rock Area School District Board of Directors.
Americans are putting greed ahead of jobs
As a steelworker who has lost his job, I want to thank you for your support of steel. But I remember eight or 10 years ago when the clothing and apparel industry was being destroyed in this country The Vindicator thought it was great.
The editorial said imports would control inflation and that textile workers were not competitive with foreign workers even though most made less then $10 an hour.
There is more to patriotism than waving the flag around. A lot of good jobs have been lost because the American people and the American companies have put greed first.
The problem is neither political party gives a damn about the American worker. The Democratic Party is controlled by social fanatics who are more concerned with women being able to kill their babies, and the Republicans just cater to the super rich.
The bottom line is who is going to support the schools and hospitals, after our federal government has sent most of the decent paying jobs to other countries.
Equalizing retirement benefits best for workers
Your recent editorial, "Pension numbers add up quickly in public sector" illuminates the disparity between the pension provisions of public employees and private industry employees.
At the moment, the trend seems to be that public sector pensions are rising while private sector pensions are falling and thus the group that will have to pay the taxes to pay the public pensions will have less ability to pay.
Perhaps you may want to study this aspect of the problem and consider where the ultimate pension solution may lie in America so that there is an equalization of pension benefits.
Maybe, just maybe, all pensions should be funded by wage earners, public and private, but all are paid by the government.
Your editorial has raised a valid point and needs expansion.