UK overreacted over players' use of air-soft pistols
Several issues come to mind about the article, "Four UK football players suspended after lockdown."
First, regarding the "reported shooting," either the persons calling made a mistake about the sound or a false report was made.
Second, the witch hunt turned up four students who, apparently, previously had possession of an air-soft pistol. Air-soft devices shoot 6mm (about ¼ inch) diameter, plastic pellets. Compare that with the standard 5mm, steel pellet from a BB gun. When fired, the air-soft discharge is barely audible.
If the "shots fired" reports were correct, then there is someone still out there.
If the UK police are going to claim that the air-soft pistol is a weapon, what about rubber bands? A rubber band launching a paper clip or a stone is far more dangerous.
Regarding the suspensions, where is the concept of "innocent until proven guilty?" I understand Coach Mark Stoops' disappointment with the players, but a suspension without at least a hearing is a little heavy handed.
Finally, sending the results of a UK internal investigation to the county attorney is excessive. Let's ruin their reputations for something that may have been an innocent carrying, and perhaps use of, an air-soft device. Way to go, UK.
Real damage done
About the four University of Kentucky students who have been charged with second-degree disorderly conduct: Their lack of common sense really did them in this time.
They were punished with suspension from Saturday's game and maybe some other slapping of the wrists may occur, but let's face it, they are not really in too much trouble, all things considered.
I just wonder if they'd be interested in the collateral damage during their so-called war games?
One night's game entailed two BB shots directly through my neighbor's front windows, and one shot through my back door glass, and last but not least, a shot that shattered the back windshield of our vehicle.
It kind of does my heart good to imagine that these may have been accidents. Prior to their notoriety, I feared they were on purpose, which really hurt my feelings. But despite the hundreds of dollars of damage that was done to my property, at least someone was having a good time and all was not for naught.
I'm not going to shed any tears that they got busted. They and other soft air-gun owners should learn from their mistakes. They should be thankful they were stopped before they hurt themselves or somebody else.
Punishment too soft
Coach Mark Stoops and the University of Kentucky need to have a harsher punishment for the football players who fired the gun on campus. Suspension for one game is pretty small punishment, considering how many people they affected. We need to hold people up to higher standards of behavior.
I understand they are freshmen and away from their homes, but they put a lot of people in danger. Their behavior was reckless and childlike; maybe they aren't ready to go to college. A lot of UK employees arrive at work before the sun comes up and it is already a scary walk in the dark without this kind of prank.
If UK would hold their students accountable for their actions, then maybe this town wouldn't get destroyed after the NCAA basketball tourney and football players wouldn't feel entitled to act this way. This is our town, Lexington, let's make students accountable for their behavior.
Enforce student code
Since the BB-gun incident on the University of Kentucky's south campus, it seems UK's administration is working on a way to not uphold the Student Code of Conduct's rule regarding firearms on campus. The administration basically said they won't enforce the penalty unless they find that BB guns are lethal.
Why? If they don't find a valid excuse, it means having to expel these players.
So four UK football players decided to go out in the dark and fire off rounds of bb's. Most would think that's no big deal. It would have been had they injured or killed someone.
There are at least four deaths per year in the United States from these guns, plus, they cause a lot of injuries, some serious.
Remember, their act was done with no concern for anyone's safety.
It doesn't matter who the student is, even if it's a star athlete, they have to be held accountable by the legal system and code of conduct rules.
Refugees no burden
Recently, I overheard strangers bonding over their mutual resentment of "foreigners" in Lexington.
It made me sad.
One of the biggest reasons for the influx of internationals is that Lexington has chosen to welcome refugees. These are not terrorists or people trying to "steal our jobs." These are my friends.
Many are well-educated, hard-working people doing their best to raise healthy families and contribute to our city. Through no fault of their own, they may have found themselves in a civil war, or on the wrong side of an "ethnic cleansing."
Some lost their homes and had lives threatened, escaping with only the clothes on their backs. Then they walked hundreds of miles to refugee camps where they lived for decades, watching their children die of starvation and disease while no country was willing to help.
The United States recently welcomed some, giving them full status as citizens. How can we — quick to move across town to a "better neighborhood" or a "better school" — fault these people for wanting to move out of a refugee camp?
And how can we, in the Bible Belt, ignore the clear commandments of God to love immigrants just as we love ourselves?
Aided in cancer fight
Not all cancers are pink.
As I take down the teal ribbons that are the color of my wife's ovarian cancer as well as her late mother's, I can't help but be thankful to live in Lexington where the community gave us such support during September, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
A small group of dedicated volunteers from Bluegrass Ovarian Cancer Support tied and hung well over 100 ribbons downtown, at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center and at Fayette Mall,
Through rain, wind and the heat of the late summer sun, the ribbons held up. They helped spread the word about this silent killer that is so very hard to detect because there is no test yet.
May God bless all and protect you from all cancers.
Children need spanking
It's a crying shame when parents discipline their kids and face jail time because of it. Now understand, I'm not talking about severely beating them or pouring scalding water on them or locking them in a room for weeks, etc. I'm speaking of spanking or slapping a child to control them.
Too many kids are foul-mouthed, disrespectful and very rude because parents don't feel the need to do anything because of fear of prosecution. This is why kids do this stuff, because they know they can get away with just about anything. Good message, law enforcement.
Audit was nothing to celebrate
A very good writing class at the University of Kentucky in the mid-1960s taught me to "put the news up front." From the first paragraph of Tom Eblen's Sept. 21 column, "Audit of Fayette schools should be a wake-up call — our children deserve better," he did just that.
Superintendent Tom Shelton and the board majority seemed somewhat proud that the audit did not find that the school system was filled with thieves or other criminals. Well, I suppose that this is something in which taxpayers can also take pride.
Chronic mismanagement, petty bickering, misuse of dedicated funds, rewarding the administrators while the teachers get little and an overall mess is all that the auditors found. Those auditors sure were picky. The board majority and superintendent's knee-jerk reaction was to celebrate the absence of discovered criminal activity.
There is an old adage about continuing to do the same things and expecting a different result. Our school system can perhaps be fixed but surely not by this bunch.
Cut administrative jobs
We could fire half the staff at Fayette County Schools Central Office and the students, classroom teachers, and the community wouldn't have a clue they were gone. The savings could go for better classroom teachers pay, school supplies and tax relief. Let's get started.
Time to clean house
A number of times I have communicated with your paper with regards to school property taxes and the school board members who robotically vote yes at the whim of the superintendent.
I also indicated that communication is not in the Fayette County School dictionary, but miscommunication is certainly apparent.
Earlier this year the superintendent claims that he wished he had known about certain events, he would have done better in communication and things maybe would have not gotten out of hand. It is his responsibility to know what's going on.
A brilliant statement by Tom Shelton in the paper that he and the Fayette County Education Association officials, would make a comparison between teacher salaries and those of administrators since there were major differences in percentage of salary increases, as reported by the audit.
If the superintendent and school board members were in the real world, incompetence would be rewarded with pink slips. lt's time to remove and replace them and start from scratch and make these property school taxes worthwhile. Put people in who know about budgets, and not just about voting yes every August for increases.
No suspensions is insanity
The principal at Henry Clay High School has a drink in another state and gets suspended for two days. Some Kentucky State University students don't pay tuition and are kicked out of school. But if a student at Dunbar High School gets in a fight, curses a teacher or does drugs, they get to stay.
The Dunbar principal said no students were suspended last year. I can assure you that some should have been. But in out politically correct insanity, that might draw the ire of groups like the Equity Council.
That council thinks fewer students should be suspended, especially if they are black.
Brian Hodge, chairman of the council's suspension committee thinks principals should appear before the council and explain suspension data. School board chairman John Price suggests teachers undergo training on their understanding of various cultures.
I suggest Hodge and Price undergo training to better understand reality. Put them in a high school classroom with 35 students for a couple of weeks, then let's discuss this topic.
It would be good to know how many council members have ever been in a classroom. The council has an agenda, and we can be assured it's not the betterment of Fayette County Schools.