YOUR OPINION: Letters to the Editor March 3, 2012

By NEMS Daily Journal

Thompson sanctions anger some of his supporters
We’re concerned, disappointed and very angry about the recent actions (Journal, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012) and penalties directed toward 4th District Judge Rickey Thompson. This outrageous “judicial lynching” in our opinion is a result of the envy and demeaning racial attitudes and actions of certain Lee County law enforcement and judiciary officials. Their attitudes/beliefs/actions are still marred in the post-Civil War reconstruction years in Mississippi. They have carried these charades with complaints to the administrative and enforcement division of the State Supreme Court over and over.
The judge’s rulings and decision-making are certainly in line with other district court judges in Mississippi, but – wait. Judge Thompson is an African-American who dares to be compassionate, innovative and fair in an atmosphere of racism, cronyism and envy. The judge is of impeccable character, competent, compassionate and demonstrates a firm commitment to those core American values of fairness, equal opportunity, liberty and justice for all.
Judge Rickey Thompson’s decisions, recommendations and actions in his drug court have drawn positive and complimentary responses from numerous other counties. However, certain Lee County law enforcement/judiciary officers are consistently critical of the judge’s endeavors. They have sought to destroy and undermine Judge Thompson’s credibility and character with their negative complaints and reports.
Associate Justice Ann Lamar of the Mississippi Supreme Court states (Daily Journal Feb. 8, 2012), “Drug courts represent a new beginning. Sometimes participants in our courts have had their lives just spiral out of control. It has gotten to the point that they’ve lost all hope in the future or all hope of ever breaking the cycle of addiction, all hope of ever having a stable home life, a job and security like so many people have.”
So, don’t condemn him, commend him for his innovative and compassionate service. State court investigators, state representatives and the U.S. Department of Justice shall be informed of our concerns in this matter. We shall continue to admire, respect and support Judge Rickey Thompson and his endeavors.
Jim W. Casey
Tupelo

Why not apply charter rules for all schools?
It is ironic that the Legislature wants to improve education by creating charter schools that would be exempt from many of the laws the legislature created.
Additionally, charter schools would be exempt from many of the regulations that were derived from those laws. Why not change those laws and regulations for everyone?
Chuck Garrett
Superintendent, New Albany Schools
New Albany

Approach charter schools with restraint and caution

On Jan. 11, 2005, accompanied by 1,000 adult voters, we presented 140,000 signed petitions to the Mississippi Legislature urging full funding of the Mississippi Adequate Education Plan.
Although the need is obviously greater today, that unfortunately has not been done and should remain a priority.
Even so, the Legislature is considering charter schools in most districts which, if established, would inevitably drain precious tax dollars from our very best schools.
This strikes us as an unnecessary risk of expanding not consolidating resources.
We do agree that an expanded Charter School Law carefully used offers the possibility (not guarantees) of improved public education in some situations and could and should be offered on an experimental basis in our poorest performing schools to give parents and students a choice.
As for Virtual Charter Schools, let’s first try Conventional Charter Schools which offer a far greater possibility of success and try one thing at a time.
Jack Reed, Sr., Tupelo
William Winter, Jackson

Red Cross month opens opportunity for support
In recognition of the work done by the American Red Cross in communities across the country and around the globe, March is recognized as Red Cross Month. First proclaimed in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every president since then, including President Obama, has designated March as Red Cross Month.
Thanks to support from individuals, organizations and businesses here in Northeast Mississippi, the American Red Cross is able to respond to disasters both large and small; help members of the military, veterans and their families and teach lifesaving skills.
We want to thank those whose generosity enables us to continue our work, both here at home and around the world. You can help by making a donation, becoming a volunteer, taking a class or giving blood. Since the Red Cross is not a government agency, it relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. An average of 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross is invested directly into client services.
The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. We provide 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families, collect and distribute more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and train more than 9 million people in first aid, water safety and other lifesaving skills every year.
Our Northeast Mississippi Chapter responds to local emergencies including home and apartment fires, assists military families and trains people in lifesaving skills
Red Cross Month is the perfect time for people to become a part of our mission and help people in need by making a donation, volunteering, giving blood or taking a class. Please help us help those in need – please support the American Red Cross.
Patty Tucker
Chapter Manager
Northeast Mississippi

Selena Standifer
Communications Officer, North Mississippi
American Red Cross
Mississippi Region
Tupelo

LETTERS POLICY: The Daily Journal welcomes letters from readers. Letters should be brief – not more than 350 words. Shorter letters are preferred. Letters must be signed, with the name, address and daytime telephone number of the writer. Anonymous letters will not be considered. Letters are subject to abridgment. Send letters to The Editor, Box 909, Tupelo, MS 38802-0909, fax to 842-2233 or email to opinion@journalinc.com.