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Published: 1/17/2003

Parents need school health service facts

The purpose of Lucas County American Cancer Society Coordinated School Health Committee is to develop partnerships between schools and communities to have a positive impact on health behaviors of Lucas County youth. Our committee is concerned about several issues of which parents might not be aware.

Did you know that there are many elementary schools in Lucas County that do not have full-time school nurses?

Fact: It is estimated that about 12 percent of all children have a chronic disease such as asthma, congenital heart disease, or diabetes.

Fact: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least one nurse per 750 students.

Did you know that elementary schools are not required to have at least one person employed who is certified in first aid and/or CPR?

Fact: Each year, more than 3.7 million children suffer an injury at school substantial enough to limit activity or require medical attention (Children's Safety Network, 2002).

Fact: When a school nurse is not present, nonmedical personnel such as the secretary typically attend to injuries that happen at school.

If you are a parent and are concerned about what you have just read, please take the time to call your child's school or school board members and find out what health services they provide. It takes concerned parents to advocate for positive changes to protect the health of children.

SUSAN K. TELLJOHANN

Chairwoman

Coordinated School Health Committee

Lucas County American Cancer Society

Columnist Russ Lemmon is doing his best to promote the exclusive use of computers for everything. His comment to a contributor to the Readers' Forum was to “go to the library and learn how to use a computer,” when all the poor guy did was complain that so many people assumed that everybody had a computer or at least knew how to use one.

I am a senior citizen. Roughly 90 percent of us do not like computers. They are alien to us, and we want them to remain so. The 10 percent of us who are avid computer fans should find a better pastime; then maybe we could reach them occasionally on the telephone.

My mother's generation paid bills with cash, getting on a streetcar or bus and going to the cashier at Lasalle's every Monday to pay on his or her charge account, once a month stopping at the telephone, electric, or gas company to pay up, and paying the doctor at the time of treatment, etc.

My generation improved on that by mailing checks.

The “Now” generation does everything by computer. Don't force us into that regimen. Respect our wishes to do everything the old-fashioned way. It should be illegal for any business to penalize a customer for not using a computer to pay his bill.

In the weak economy we now face, it is the senior citizen who is keeping us afloat. We are the ones spending money on new TVs, washers, dryers, etc. We are the ones going on cruises, bus tours, trips to Florida, and Hawaii. We are the ones spending money on gifts, helping out our kids and grandkids, etc.

Therefore, if we choose not to use a computer, our wishes should be respected.

EVELYN KUHL

Carver Boulevard

Retirees on a public pension in the State of Ohio cannot receive full benefits of Social Security. When one is eligible for any one of these pensions and also Social Security, he or she is hit by what is known as the “offset” law. For every $2 of public pension, $1 is taken from the Social Security benefit.

Shortly after this offset was enacted, the rules for returning to work for public pension retirees were changed. This brought about what is now known as “double-dipping.” Those who are benefiting the most by this change are the public elected officials (PERS) and school administrators - including teachers - (STRS). Very few nonteaching retirees (SERS) are returning to work. This SERS group is the one hurt most by the offset law.

So Judge Jack Puffenberger has to give up a week's wages to be able to “double-dip.” A SERS widow of a Social Security retiree is penalized for the rest of her life.

Where is the justice in these offset and double-dipping laws?

MABEL K. LANGENDERFER

Berkey

I am appalled - no, dumbfounded - by the recent direction of Toledo Public Schools concerning the recruitment of the community for the single purpose of helping our children pass a proficiency test.

It is the responsibility of the teacher to give the students a well-rounded curriculum that should include material in the exams in daily lessons. Teachers should teach the course, not the test. When schools fail to educate, we add a second layer called remedial education.

We have to concentrate on what is happening in the first, second, and third grades and find out why the children are not learning to read. If they leave the third grade without the ability to read, they have reached the point of no return, and we have lost them.

Why were 40 percent of freshmen who enrolled at UT directly from high school last year unprepared and in need of remedial classes?

We must insist that students take an academic core curriculum in high school: four years of English, three years of math, science, and social studies. This would give them an academic background to succeed in any career destination, be it college or the workforce.

As far as the 12 percent of ninth-graders that did not show up for the test, you can eliminate them from meeting your indicator. They were truant because they knew they would fail the test.

In 1996, a TPS improvement leader in the Bowsher area fired a very qualified teacher because he failed students who did not do the work he expected. The school district thought the object was to get good grades, not to get an education, said the teacher in an interview.

We must demand higher standards for our children.

THEODORE GEORGOFF

Windamar Road

The Landmarks Preservation Council supports the Old West End Historic Commission and the staff of the Toledo-Lucas County Plan Commission in their recommendation not to issue a certificate of appropriateness for the Toledo Museum of Art's new glass building.

The Old West End District has been in existence for many years. Every property owner is aware that changes to the exteriors of existing buildings and new construction have to be in keeping with the original structures of the neighborhood. These standards have made this area a unique place, one of the few places where the community is intact.

The people who serve on the Old West End Historic Commission and the staff of the plan commission care deeply about the historic fabric of this district. Several live in the area. These people should be commended for their honesty and integrity in applying their standards to everyone alike.

Local government officials should consider their actions carefully and the message they will send to those committed to historic preservation.

Would you feel the same way about this building if it was not being built by the Toledo Museum of Art?

Both of these institutions are vital to our city and this neighborhood. Have all alternatives been explored?

IRENE M. MARTIN

Chairwoman

Landmarks Preservation Council

Harlan Road



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