Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor School police would be inappropriate

To the editor:

I would like to reply to the May 28 letter from Mr. Curt Cameron regarding the need for police protection within the Vermillion School District. As a participant in the school district's tack force on safety, I am not opposed to reasonable measures which can realistically enhance school safety. In my opinion, however, full-time police protection within the Vermillion School District would be inappropriate, ineffective and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

It is inappropriate because it is not necessary. We are fortunate to live in a community that practices the family values that others merely preach. Consider, for instance, the parental support and booster clubs that help sponsor healthy student activities. Whatever our problems may be, they are much smaller than those that exist in large cities. Merely because large schools with a history of violence need police protection does not mean that we need it too.

Police protection in the schools would also be ineffective. The last two episodes of school violence occurred even though both schools had an armed police officer. I am more concerned that our children receive an inappropriate message when we create an environment that implies that they need constant police supervision to be trusted or to be safe. In my opinion, a healthy and respectful learning environment cannot be sustained if we allow our decisions to be clouded by an excessive fear of the most unlikely events.

I also believe that a school police officer would be a waste of taxpayer dollars. We already have one of the most highly policed communities in South Dakota, and I simply cannot understand why anybody would suggest we need more. If the school believes a threatening situation may exist, it can call upon our existing police force for immediate assistance. I am also dismayed that Mr. Cameron would suggest it would be "free" when the eventual reality is exactly the opposite. Even Dr. Mayer told me the school district would not be willing to pay for the eventual cost because, according to him, there are better ways to spend the school district's limited funds. I believe we should apply the same standard to the city. I am especially dismayed by the notion that our problems may be solved by simply spending more taxpayer dollars on police, prosecution and prison. There are better ways to spend our limited resources. Our children deserve much better.

Frank Slagle


Simple approach turned out to be best

To the editor:

Your editorial about Roberts' Rules of Order reminded me of an experience on the City Council in the 1960s.

A member suggested that we adopt those rules, in the wake of some council squabbles and bickering. I asked him if he knew how those rules worked, and he replied that, as a matter of fact, he didn't.

So I suggested that we allow the major to make any decisions as to procedure, subject to being overturned by a majority of the council. That motion prevailed, and we never got ourselves tied up by procedural gridlock.

The simple approach has a lot to commend it.


Alan Clem


Local businesses help support swim team

To the editor:

The Vermillion Area Swim Team is once again gearing up for the next session of swimming. Few people know about our team and what it has to offer. Last winter our team was able to offer swimming lessons in the Dome to over 60 children, while offering competitive swimming to 30 swimmers. This summer our program will offer stroke class to another 40 children and competitive swimming to 25 swimmers.

The ability to maintain a program such as this with a professional coaching staff and keep our fees reasonable is a constant struggle. Although we are members of United States Swimming and South Dakota Swimming our financial support comes entirely from fees, swim meets and donations. This summer our coaching costs will be around $6,000.

Our program could not go on without the support we have been given from The University of South Dakota Athletic Department, Vermillion businesses and the Vermillion Service organizations. Therefore, as president of the Vermillion Swim Team and on behalf of our entire team I would like to publicly thank The University of South Dakota Department of Athletics and the following businesses; Whimps, First Dakota Bank, Toby's, Comfort Inn, Vermillion Ford, Cowboy Restaurant, Davis Pharmacy, Community First Bank, Stewart Oil and Tire Company, R-Pizza, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Vermillion Optimist Club, Fraternal Order of the Odd Fellows, Clay Union Electric, Edward Jones Investment Company, Morse's Farm Market, Bimbo's, Bob's Amoco. Vermillion Fertilizer Company, Godfather's Pizza, Rasmussen Motors, Recuerdo's, The Silver Dollar, Yankton Medical Clinic, Vermillion Medical Clinic and Walking Billboard.

Although other businesses around Vermillion have been approached to help with the team it has been these small, privately-owned businesses that have come through to support us. As people in Vermillion leave town to spend their dollars I hope they will stop to think about the above businesses who are supporting our swim team and support them.

Teresa Solberg


Vermillion Area Swim Team

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