Pubdate: Sun, 18 May 2003
Source: Free Lance-Star, The (VA)
Copyright: 2003 The Free Lance-Star
Author: Mike T. Guesman


If the mayor of Norton, Robert Rains, truly believes that building three 
new jails is a "historic event for Virginia," he definitely should take a 
deep breath and evaluate this thought for a second ["Bonds get new jails 
under way," May 6].

As it is, Virginia already has numerous jails and prisons. Are these 
negative environments really what we would consider historic landmarks?

A truly historic event would be to use all this money, time, and effort to 
create things like schools, parks, and rehabilitation programs where we can 
put more positive motivation into the educational experience instead of 

A truly groundbreaking ceremony is watching our children graduate from 
school, win their first sporting event, and learn and move on to build 
positive, respectful lives, not the construction of three new jails.

Maybe if we citizens would spend a little more time and effort toward 
educating and guiding our youth, then we would witness a lot more 
productive behavior and not need so many incarceration programs. It sickens 
me when I view a corrections officer earning more per year than a teacher. 
It's a twisted picture.

The key to change and positive living is motivation, responsibility, and 
morals, which surely occurs in proper education.

If Mr. Rains truly wants to make history, construct some schools, 
rehabilitation programs, and other areas of healthy productiveness, and 
make a positive difference instead of building brick walls to lock people away.

In this Virginian's point of view, that would truly be considered real 
history. Support a teacher.

Mike T. Guesman

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