Wednesday, Nov 22, 2017
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Letters to the Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Schools can move against cyberbullying

Your Nov. 7 story "Parents, schools often are stymied when bullying jumps to cyberspace" was a good attempt to highlight an important issue. However, it included inaccurate information that is potentially dangerous to students who are experiencing online harassment.

The message conveyed in the article was that schools are helpless in the battle against cyber-bullying because most of it occurs off school grounds. That is not true.

Most cyber-bullying occurs between students at the same school. The law empowers schools to regulate cyber-bullying that occurs off-campus, if the harassment negatively affects the victim's educational environment or the overall environment at the school.

Courts across the country have ruled that schools have the right -- and, I would argue, the duty -- to address off-campus harassment in the same way they would deal with bullying on school grounds or at school-sponsored activities.

The crucial factor is the impact on the victim's education and well-being in school. School officials should carefully document the connection between harassment and its effect on the victim, and properly respond if there is adequate evidence that the harassment is hurting the victim.

Cyber-bullying is not a free-speech issue. While students, like anyone else, generally have the right to say what they want, they do not have the right to harass and intimidate another student with the intent of doing physical or psychological harm.

Victims are usually targeted because they are perceived to be different. Children suffer because of bullying, both traditional and online. They suffer psychologically, physically, and academically. Sometimes they kill themselves.

We owe it to our kids to be informed and empowered to stop all forms of bullying.

Rob Salem
Clinical Professor of Law
University of Toledo
W. Bancroft St.

Time to forge ahead after S.B. 5

The defeat of Issue 2, the referendum on Senate Bill 5, was impressive ("Voters trounce Issue 2; Kasich says he respects 'voices' of electorate," Nov. 9).

Public finances remain stressed and may be for some time. Blame assessment for weaknesses in the economy may have superficial appeal, but does nothing to alter the fact or promote a solution.

The urgency and extent to which state officials revisit those parts of S.B. 5 that appeared to be popular with the electorate will depend on the will of both sides of labor negotiations to forge collective-bargaining agreements designed to preserve jobs, serve the public, and share the burdens inherent in the challenge of overcoming this period of economic distress.

Those whose position prevailed should be allowed to bask in the glory of the victory. The proponents would have done the same had their position prevailed. However, that revelry should be short, so that we can work together to create the tide that lifts all boats.

Gary McBride
Sylvania Township

Workers won as Issue 2 lost

The defeat of Issue 2 was a hard-won battle to keep workers' rights.

Senate Bill 5 was a thinly veiled attempt to silence workers. Gov. John Kasich and his political allies are trying to turn Ohio into a right-to-work state. This fight had little to do with budgets, but was about removing the only counterweight to their agenda.

Governor Kasich's race to the top looked like a race to the bottom for many of Ohio's workers. You don't fertilize a tree from the top; you do so from the roots up.

Marcus Gray
Goddard Rd.

Misleading ads defeated Issue 2

The outcome of Issue 2 is a classic example of misleading political advertising.

Opponents of Issue 2 claimed that its passage would result in reduction of public services. It is far more likely that the defeat will cause depletions in public employees and the services they provide.

Now that public unions have maintained their ability to collectively bargain and strike, they will be able to negotiate more lucrative contracts and benefits, costing taxpayers more.

Given the state of the economy, public coffers cannot absorb higher costs, so the only likely solution is to reduce staff. That would result in the outcome threatened by unions to hoodwink the public into defeating the bill.

Untruthful advertising must be controlled.

Phil Covell
Temperance

Bell flip-flops on Issue 2's value

Toledo Mayor Mike Bell was the only mayor of a major city in the state to back Issue 2. He even made TV commercials for Issue 2.

Informed at a University of Toledo football game that Issue 2 had been defeated, he said that he wasn't "emotionally attached to this issue, one way or another."

It sounds as if Mayor Bell is a major-league flip-flopper. Is this triple dipper who tried to take away power from workers now starting to worry that the unions will not back him for another term?

Carl Zellner
Monclova Township

'Occupy' should target Washington

Why do the Occupy Wall Street protesters rant against businesses, when the real culprits who have caused the downgrade of our nation are in Washington ("Oakland regroups after Occupy melee," Nov. 4)?

The media try to pass off these demonstrators as similar to Tea Party people, but there is no similarity. Tea Party people do not destroy businesses or attack police officers, and they have a clearly defined cause. They want to downsize government and to rein in the out-of-control spending that is slowly destroying our country.

Elected representatives from both political parties are where the blame lies. When Democrats are not in power, they blame Republicans for allowing manufacturing jobs to go offshore because of bad trade agreements and tax breaks for corporations that take jobs overseas.

But when Democrats were in control of both houses of Congress, they did nothing to change these bad policies. We would have more jobs in this country than we have people to do them if we could elect some people who would put the country ahead of their greed.

George Sailer
Temperance

Know a shooter? Turn perp in

When I read that a 4-year-old boy was shot, I got mad ("Details emerge in S. Toledo shooting; Mom, 4-year-old hit through door," Nov. 7).

People know who's doing this and other violence in the city. Sometimes perpetrators talk about what was done.

Turn them in. I do not care if the perp is a member of your family. This woman and her son are someone's relatives.

The violence isn't going to stop until good people say we aren't going to take these shootings anymore.

Mary Poe
Primrose Ave.

Vaccines given as public service

The Blade's Oct. 26 article "HPV vaccine urged for boys ages 11 and 12; Aim is to prevent spread of virus through sex, fend off certain cancers" correctly states that the vaccine is expensive, costing about $300 for a course of three shots.

However, I strongly disagree with The Blade's statement that pediatricians charge "hundreds more." Insurance carriers pay only $20 to $30 above cost for administration of the vaccine.

Vaccines are given as a public service for prevention of deadly diseases. By no means do they create a financial incentive for the physician.

Dr. Rama Sood
Ottawa Hills

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