Letters: It's time to change students' schedules

Johnson City Press • Jan 18, 2019 at 6:00 AM

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It’s time to change students’ schedules

There is something very fundamental that would eliminate most (not all) of the need for unsupervised teens to be occupied. The public schools’ times of operation need to be changed from the traditional operating hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. to something that is more realistic, both for students and parents.

Current school hours were developed around our previously agrarian nation. Children were let out of school in time to get home to help on family farms. The need for this ended many years ago, and it’s time for it to change. If schools operated in line with most businesses during the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours, it would be much better for everyone not to have to wonder who was watching the kids after school, or how to get them to school (and out of bed) when it was still dark. Our children would benefit by learning how to operate in the "real world" working hours at a much younger age. Those in outside activities would need to arrange things around this schedule, just like we do in the adult or "working" world. Recent research has actually proven that teenagers especially do better if they start their class work at a later hour than the traditional 7 a.m. schedule.

The era when mom (or anyone) was at home when school let out has passed and is unlikely to return. After-school care is expensive, so many "latchkey" children are home alone, which can be a recipe for disaster. All children deserve to have the security of a responsible adult being nearby, just as they have at school. We should make it easier for parents to be able to provide this. Everyone wins.

Johnson City

I fought the Cold War for this?

It is a dark, cold February morning in 1983 in Goeppingen, Germany, and the telephone rings at 3:45 a.m. I am part of the Big Red One (1st ID (Fwd)). We are rolling out to our wartime positions preparing to defend against a Russian attack against NATO. I repeat this scene almost every month for the six years I am stationed in Germany.

Not in my wildest dreams could I imagine that 36 years later, two Republican senators from my state would vote to lift sanctions against a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska. Mr. Deripaska has been credibly linked to Russian intelligence and was part of Putin’s plan to elect Donald Trump president. He was the recipient of intelligence from Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, a convicted criminal. Nor could I imagine that these same two senators would continue to blindly ignore the treasonous conduct of Trump.

Where is the outrage among Republicans in Tennessee against Russia and its clear manipulation of Donald Trump? How can any rational American believe that calling for our withdrawal from NATO, as Trump has repeatedly done, is anything other than doing Putin’s bidding? How can any rational American believe that a man who has nothing to hide would destroy all notes or records of five meetings with Putin? At this point in the Trump presidency, it seems one can either be a Trump supporter or an American. It is impossible to be both.

Johnson City

Grow up, Congress

I have one request of this Congress: Stop acting like three-year-old children and get something done.

Our nation is twenty-plus trillion dollars in debt, our bridges and highways are falling apart and we have a flood of people illegally coming into this country. The two parties do nothing except blame each other for the crisis they created, and refuse to consider any solution if it is offered by the other party.

We spend more on social programs than any other single item, yet we allow thousands more people to slip into this country who cannot support themselves. Of course the government will take care of them. With what? The government has nothing to give away except what it takes from people who actually work.

The citizens of this country have to live on whatever income we have, whether it be large or small. Our Congress acts much like someone with a stolen credit card with no limits. It is unbelievable to me that the so called "richest country on Earth" cannot live within its means. Instead of claiming that we need more taxes to cover our spending, Congress should be saying, "We have this much money in taxes, let us spend it wisely."

Johnson City

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