Readers write

CHILD ABUSE

Response to “State fails children in life and in death,” News, Oct. 20

I applaud this story. Emphasis is appropriately placed on the poor follow-up caseworkers within Georgia’s Division of Family and Children’s Services are often able to provide regarding worrisome family situations.

But, the blame should primary be assumed by society as a whole — including its elected officials. Over the past 40 years, funding for following abused or neglected children has never been more than a small fraction of what is needed, resulting in constantly overwhelmed caseworkers.

The low level of staffing often leads to cases being closed — as reported in this article — when family crises occur, since the overwhelmed caseworker is unable to commit to increased care and is afraid to be in a position of documenting (and apparently ignoring) increasing need.

We need to do better for children in troubled families. As a society, we need the will to commit to the funding needed to provide adequate casework services.

DR. JOHN S. O'SHEA, ATLANTA

EDUCATION

Colleges should prep

students for tech jobs

Rather than spend billions on a new stadium that is used a few times a year and benefits only a few people, Atlanta metro leaders should spend that money on making the Atlanta area a true engine of growth for the future. By investing that same money in two-year colleges specializing in technical skills (as outlined in “State needs more skilled workers,” Business, Oct. 20), Atlanta would be producing the skilled workers needed to fill the programming, technical and entry-level jobs that remain unfilled by area employers.

Our education leaders too often over-emphasize a four-year degree, when a two-year degree with immediate, hands-on skills and training is what is best suited for many people leaving high school or changing careers. The four-year degree puts many students in poor financial condition — with no true job skills, in many cases. These technical employees would greatly compliment the engineers and entrepreneurs coming out of our area colleges.

JAY KNIER, ROSWELL

Let children express

themselves in hairdos

Regarding “Schools persist with hairdo bans” (Living, Oct. 22), I am a 60-year-old mother. I find it ludicrous that children are getting negative reactions regarding the styling of their hair.

It is hard enough in our society with bullying and negative images placed on these children. We are more than the sum of size, our sexuality and our color. We are all human beings. These children should be able to express their individuality and culture reflected by their hair with no repercussions.

MARGRET KENDALL, MARIETTA

HISTORY

Statue of hate monger

deserves to be moved

It’s agreed, “‘You can’t pick and choose’ state history” (Metro, Oct. 23), but you can, and should, prioritize it.

Thomas Watson’s role in Georgia history is not one that Georgians can be proud of, any more than the KKK’s role is. He was a populist hate-monger whose speeches and newspaper articles promoted violent crimes.

Like many other Georgians, I have been offended by the prominence of his statue at our state Capitol since I first noticed it over 50 years ago. The fact that state officials plan to relocate Watson’s statue should indicate that Georgia’s history is not being rewritten — just prioritized. This time, I say “kudos” to state officials.

BENJAMIN HIRSCH, ATLANTA

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