Universal free meals
I was both sad and angry when I read the Sunday (July 24) front page article: Universal free meals no longer offered; Students must qualify.
Every school administrator, teacher, and parent struggling to put food on the table should be discouraged and disappointed.
The Keep Kids Fed bill co-sponsored by Sen. Bozeman only funded summer feeding programs through July and August. The universal free meals for the school year were defeated in Congress.
The article states that school meals are no longer automatically free for everyone in most counties. Students and families are strongly encouraged to submit applications to qualify for the 2022-2023 school year.
Lake Hamilton School Superintendent Shawn Higginbotham states: “This could have been a great relief to many families who are struggling financially and confronted with the extraordinarily rising cost of living.”
For comparison, 19% of Arkansas children live in poverty. To receive free or discounted meals, family income is either 130% of the federal poverty line or 185%.
I agree with Sen. Sanders who believes, “In the wealthiest country on earth, it is an outrage that millions of children struggle with hunger every day.” Every child deserves a quality education without hunger. What we have seen during this pandemic is that a universal approach to school meals is working. We can’t go backwards.”
The Heritage Foundation, on the other hand, believes that universal free meals have brought prosperity “to the middle class and the wealthy.” To that argument, I would say that they show a lack of awareness of the current level of poverty in the county. We should be ashamed that as a county we would allow every child in school to go hungry because they are either unqualified or don’t have the money to pay for their food.
A woman’s story
This is a true story that happened 26 years ago in Hot Springs. A young woman was pregnant. Her doctor informed her that she was expecting twins. One was healthy, the other died after birth. The young expectant mother was offered to abort the unhealthy. She said she wanted to give birth to both babies. She did. The healthy girl was fine. Her sister had spina bifida. She was brought in for surgery. The baby was alive. years passed. The Shriners found out about her condition and arranged free surgery for her. After the operation, she was able to walk with braces and crutches. She married and gave birth to two healthy children, a boy and a girl.
She lives in Virginia with her sister. She returned to Hot Springs with her children in April. She applied for food stamps but was denied because Virginia had not closed her account. She was told to get a letter from Virginia saying her account was closed. She contacted Virginia and was told they would send her a letter. It was never sent.
The local DHS office did not give this brave young mother food stamps. That’s nearing the end of July. Personally, I think someone at DHS should be fired.
Howard Lee Kilby
School safety message
The coverage of the plan to make schools safer seen in the news today seems a bit short on actually protecting the children and teachers unless they haven’t covered everything they are actually doing . The training and further education of the police is good, but it should have started years ago, because mass shootings in schools in this country did not just start in 2022.
I think a police alert system like banks and probably others have would help a lot, plus cameras monitored by security. Exterior doors can be locked from the outside but will open from the inside in the event of fire etc to allow people to exit. Most large department stores have such doors as other stores. If teachers are alerted by a camera guard, they could secure students and lock doors to prevent mass shootings. Then instruct police or fire brigade to remove children through windows. If it’s a two-story building, there are fire escapes that attach inside and throw down to get the students out. Think folks, think. There are simple, easy, and inexpensive ways to add protection without arming teachers.
So far over 300 mass shootings in 2022. It’s time to stop it, if you refuse to control guns then take control of the situation and protect these “babies” you all love.
Village of hot springs
Apocryphal though it is, it’s good: the Gestapo demanded that Freud, when he applied to leave Austria, write a memo praising his good works. The memo consisted of a sentence and a signature, which read: “I can recommend the Gestapo to everyone. Yours sincerely, Sigmund Freud.” According to reports, Hitler had the agent who took the letter shot.
I also commend the good works of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as reported on page 19 of the current Arkansas Times.
Added to list
I used to believe that organized religions around the world without tolerance would eventually mean the end of sound and safe government. Now I need to add the internet to the list.
Not an easy subject
For those readers who take the issue of abortion as plainly as several state governments do—including Arkansas—I encourage you to read the article on page 1 of the Sunday, July 17 issue of the parent newspaper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette read.
The article points out that (1) the laws from state to state are so vague that physicians have difficulty understanding them. dr Jack Redneck, President of the American Medical Association, is quoted as saying, “This is a scary time for doctors and patients with new concerns about privacy, access to contraception, and even the advent of life-saving interventions.”
Ectopic pregnancies pose a particular problem. These are embryos that grow outside the uterus and cannot be saved. Since abortion is now a criminal offense, many doctors will not help a woman in this situation. The matter is ambiguous now, to save the woman’s life – the question now is, “Is she ill enough for treatment?”
In Texas, abortion is illegal if the fetus still has a heartbeat, even if the woman’s life is at stake. Doctors at two Texas hospitals named 28 women with pregnancies less than 23 weeks old. All had to wait nine days, increasing the woman’s risk of death from a fetal heart attack.
Fourth, in cases of rape, some women are now voluntarily sterilized. Some state laws do not allow abortion for rape and incest reasons. Sterilization at an early age can pose a problem later when the woman gets married and wants a child. Unlike vasectomy, it cannot be reversed.
Fifth, there are 200,000 women locked up in prisons in the United States. Few prisons have facilities for prenatal care or childbirth. But no abortion now, for whatever reason. legal, with the chance of more deaths than usual.
Abortion is not an easy subject. Like most controversial issues, it is far more complex than many would like to make it out to be. I suspect abortion pill sales will increase in states that allow it. What the future holds now is in the balance.
John W “Doc” Crawford