TUESDAY Stork delivers county's first baby of 2012 - Matchbin

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TUESDAY Stork delivers county's first baby of 2012 - Matchbin

Bladen Journal

Tuesday

January 10, 2012

Page 4A

EDITORIAL ...

LETTERS ...

Here’s WHat We tHink

Tampering

teacher

nother school district is feeling the sting of a

Apublic backlash. This time it’s a school district

in Albemarle County, Va., which is wincing after

public outcry over a song some third-grade students

allegedly penned about the Occupy Wall

Street movement.

The song in question is titled “Part of the 99” and was

performed at the Westbrook Elementary School. The

nature of the lyrics the students allegedly penned themselves

left some parents and political pundits wondering

just who really wrote the lyrics.

Some political blogs and commentators have even gone

so far as to label the song a form of “indoctrination.”

In our curiosity to see just what the hullabaloo was

about we took a peek at the lyrics. Here is a sample of

what we say is definitely advanced for an 8-year-old’s level

of thinking:

“Some people have it all

“But they still don’t think they have enough

“They want more money

“A faster ride

“They’re not content

“Never satisfied

“Yes — they’re the 1

percent

“I used to be one of the 1

percent

“I worked all the time

“Never saw my family

“Couldn’t make life rhyme

“Then the bubble burst

Bladen

Journal

Poll:

– The Bladen

Journal

conducts a

weekly online

poll for the

public. This

past week’s

question was

…Do you

plan to re-gift

any of the

Christmas

presents you

received?

72% No

28% Yes

Vote on the

weekly

question online

at the Bladen

website at

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.com

“It really, really hurt

“I lost my money

“Lost my pride

“Lost my home

“Now I’m part of the 99

“Some people have it all

“But they still don’t think

they have enough

“They want more money

“A faster ride

“They’re not content

“Never satisfied

“Yes — they’re the 1

percent

“I used to be sad, now

I’m satisfied

“‘Cause I really have

enough

“Though I lost my yacht

and plane

“Didn’t need that extra

stuff

“Could have been much

worse

“You don’t need to be first

“‘Cause I’ve got my

friends

“Here by my side

“Don’t need it all

“I’m so happy to be part

of the 99.”

We agree the topic itself

is definitely deep for an

8-year old. How many thirdgrade

students sit around

and discuss or contemplate

class warfare or poverty

among their friends?

It is more likely their

conversation will consist of

video games and the latest

songs by Justin Beiber.

We simply don’t see the lyrics as being written entirely

by a group of 8-year-olds without the influence of an adult.

Teachers suggest topics to students all the time and at

times teachers even go so far as to assign specific directions

for certain lessons.

So why would this song be any different?

We see this song as an attempt by the teacher to hijack

the classroom and student assignment to push their personal

point of view. In the words of another famous song,

“Hey, teacher! Leave those kids alone!”

Write to us!

The Bladen Journal welcomes letters to the editor.

Letters should be about issues of general interest,

brief and to the point.

We reserve the right to refuse letters longer than

250 words; poetry; letters that are in bad taste or

libelous; and letters from outside our readership.

Letters may be edited, but content will not be altered.

Letters should be original. They must be signed.

Please include your address and daytime phone

number. Street addresses and phone numbers will

not be published. A photograph of the writer will

be used if provided.

Send letters to: Bladen Journal, P.O. Box 70,

Elizabethtown, N.C. 28337 or fax them to (910)

862-6602. Letters can also be sent by e-mail to cvincent@heartlandpublications.com

or through the

Bladen Journal’s Web site at www.bladenjournal.

com.

Bladen Journal

Published by Heartland Publications, LLC

138 West Broad Street,

P.O. Box 70,

Elizabethtown, N.C. 28337

(910) 862-4163

Opinion

Bladen County Schools

are heading for the 21st

Century through the 1:1

digital initiative, which

is being implemented

through a pilot program

now and will be rolled out in its

entirety in the fall. I, for one,

think it’s a great opportunity to

help our students learn to cope in

a digital world.

While it is good our students

are learning how to use technology

for researching course

assignments and school

projects, let’s not forget

to teach them the simple

things such as how to

address a business envelop

and how to write a

proper business letter.

The real world is

becoming a more complicated

place with the

advent of new and ever

changing technology. It

is important to know

how to use that new

technology, but it is also

equally important for

students to realize that even if

they are using e-mail to send a

letter, it still needs to look like

a letter. In some places in the

world, business correspondence

is still done by completing a business

envelop and affixing whatever

the proper postage is to it.

Yes, I am well aware the use of

“snail mail,” as we like to call it,

is fading fast in the global work

place, but it is still a needed skill

in some places.

Many students are quite adept

at using the Internet for many

things such as social networking,

event planning, skyping

with friends and twittering about

the latest celebrity to fall from

grace. How are they at locating

scholarly sources for term papers

or solving complicated science

questions. With the advent of

what is commonly called, “The

Cloud” there is no need to print

out documents. Instead they are

saved in some far away place to

be retrieved as needed.

The school system received two

grants to help pay for about 1,500

high school students to receive

a Lenovo tablet for which they

will be responsible all during the

academic year. Superintendent

Robert Taylor said if

the tablet is stolen, the

student must file a police

report and bring a copy

of the police report to

the district office in

order to have the tablet

replaced. If a student

simply misplaces the digital

device, the parents of

the student will incur a

replacement fee.

There is a lot to be

said for students in

the high schools being

exposed to the use of

digital technology in the classroom.

I have heard many stories

of students who arrived at college

eager to learn only to be overwhelmed

by the amount of technology

in use in the college level

classroom.

While many students are fortunate

enough to have some exposure

to digital technology in the

home, not all students have that

luxury and this digital initiative

through the school system levels

that playing field somewhat and I

am happy to see our board of education

members agree.

I think our students need to be

exposed to as much technology,

especially in the sciences, as possible.

With the work place becom-

The Bladen Journal’s opinion is

expressed only in its unsigned editorials.

The opinions expressed in columns,

letters and cartoons are those of

the authors and artists.

Add more technology to our schools

Erin Smith

Staff Writer

ing more and more global, they

need to understand how to function

and how to use the myriad of

digital media to their advantage

when they join the work place.

While I am sure some teachers

will question the need for

the tablets in the classrooms, the

wisdom of such a move is indeed

forward thinking. Education is no

longer just the “Three Rs” though

they are still very important. It

is about teaching students to be

competitive in a global market

and how to function in a technologically

advanced world.

When I was growing up, the

Internet was just an idea and a

computer was so large and so

bulky, that took an entire building

to house one. Our concepts and

ideas of what the 21st Century

would hold was shaped by such

movies and television shows as

Star Trek, Star Wars and Lost in

Space.

We were told that one day we

would be able to press a button

and like magic we would receive a

complete meal in seconds. I guess

to some degree that has come to

pass with the invention of the

microwave oven.

Computers are now common

in the work place and at home.

When the computer malfunctions,

the world comes to a complete

stop until it is repaired or

replaced.

No longer can we sit back and

be satisfied with the status quo.

We have to find ways to incorporate

technology into our students

lives so they can compete in a

global network.

n Erin Smith is a staff writer

at the Bladen Journal and can

be reached by email at esmith@

heartlandpublications.com or by

telephone at 910-862-4163.

The Bladen Journal accepts guest columns from readers who want to write

about local, state, national or internation issues in a format longer than a

letter to the editor. Guest columns can be up to 750 words, must include a

phone number, be signed and must include a photograph of the writer. As

with anything submitted for publication in the Bladen Journal, guest

columns may not be libelous or contain knowingly false information. All

guest columns are subject to approval by the Bladen Journal management.

For more information about guest columns, call Editor W. Curt Vincent

at 862-4163, Ext. 261.

(USPS 057720)

Second class postage at Elizabethtown, N.C.,

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*Published Tuesday and Friday*

Web address: www.bladenjournal.com

Contact us

For news: cvincent@heartlandpublications.com

For school news:esmith@heartlandpublications.com

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THE STAFF

W. Curt Vincent

general manager/editor

cvincent@heartlandpublications.

com

Erin Smith ........................ reporter

esmith@heartlandpublications.com

Jenny Hayes-Carroll .... front desk

jcarroll@heartlandpublications.com

Brittney Woodell........ advertising

bwoodell@heartlandpublications.com

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