Originally created 04/12/98

Applauds principal on handling of `Coke Day' controversy 041298 - The Augusta Chronicle

I would like to applaud Principal Gloria Hamilton for her politically incorrect stand in attempting to teach our children respect during the recent "Coke Day" at Greenbrier High School.

A couple of things that mostpeople are overlooking in this controversy is that many students and teachers put in their own time preparing for this day (making decorations, etc.). The other is the fact that school team and band uniforms cannot be paid for by tax dollars. The only way the school has to get money for uniforms is by fund raising.

Mike Cameron certainly has a right to free speech just like anyone else. I think, however, that out of "respect" for his fellow students, teachers, and school, that Mike could have been a little more considerate of the work his fellow students put into the event. Could it be that Mike's right to "free speech" could have been used for more important issues (drug abuse, teen pregnancy, discrimination) rather than the "prank" he pulled advertising "Pepsi"?

The American Civil Liberties Union, which I deem an important watchdog entity, was misused in this matter. Is the ACLU going to now step in and tell our schools they must allow our children to wear obscene T-shirts as well, or the child's freedom of speech will have been denied? Give me a break!

If we, parents, don't want our schools to raise funds, then we need to reach into our own pockets and donate the funds ourselves so our children will have team and band uniforms in which to represent our schools.

Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Cameron, what are you teaching your child? What message do you think you are sending to Mike? In the real world, businesses place importance on the issue of "teamwork." Did Mike act like a member of the team? Or was he being selfish, thinking only of himself and how cool he'd be?

W. Paschal



Well, well what next? Are we going to be told what we can eat just because we are promoting a food product?

As for Principal Gloria Hamil-ton, does she have any children? I sure hope not, because I wouldn't want to live under her "Hitler" way of thinking. Would you have rather had the young man wear an "I love `Bud' shirt" or "Smoke dope -- it's cool"?

Give me a break! And you wonder why our kids rebel -- it is because of people like you.

Twenty-five years ago the school sent my daughter home because her dress was too short. Do you know what I did? I went to school in a mini skirt with knee high boots; my father wore his Bermuda shorts; my mother wore short shorts. The school said that skirts couldn't be any shorter than four inches above the knee. Well, we pulled five teachers out of class and took a ruler and measured their skirts. The teachers' dresses were six to seven inches above their knees.

We then assembled a group of parents and went to the Board of Education to "rebel" against this. The kids couldn't even wear blue jeans back then, but I got that changed. My daughter's suspension was dropped because the school hadn't bothered to check that she actually had on skorts, shorts that were attached under the "skirt".

I will tell you something Mrs. Hamilton, I am a 63 year old single parent. I have a 7-year-old in the first grade. No one will tell her what to wear but me! When you buy her clothes then you can tell her what to wear; until then back off.

This is so stupid. I hope that this young man continues to pursue his "constitutional rights". I am going to pursue mine by sending a copy of my letter to every major newspaper in the United States. Mrs. Hamilton, you just put your foot forward to place another black mark against the South. As for Columbia County School Superintendent Tom Dohrmann, I thought better of you, being from Indianapolis, Ind. I thought those of us who came from there had better sense.

Barbara Driggers, Harlem


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