To the Editor,
As a retired teacher, grandparent and concerned citizen of Robeson County, I agree that Superintendent Johnny Hunt should have refused the bonus of $10,000. Our schools and teachers could use that money in many productive ways.
Since many of our teachers have to spend money out of their own pockets to help children learn and meet state testing standards, the money could have been used to directly supply materials needed in the classrooms. The money could have also been used to solve a problem at a local middle school, where students are being denied their right to a physical activity period. Recently, I contacted a principal concerned with the fact that fourth-graders are not allowed to go outside for recess. I was told there were three key reasons for this decision: snakes (which happened years ago), fire ants and too many students getting hurt.
According the the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction website, students in grades kindergarten through eighth should have a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity time, to complement, and not substitute, physical education programs. Allowing students a physical activity period is not optional — it is mandated by the state. After the superintendent was called and contacted by letter, noting the specific guidelines set by the North Carolina Department of Instruction, it still has not changed. So, I suggest some of the bonus money could be used to help clear up the problems with this particular school — paying someone to come in and get rid of the snakes and fire ants, fixing areas that are sources of harm for students and/or hiring more staff members to sufficiently supervise students and provide a safer physical activity period.
In a society where obesity is on the rise, it would be a huge benefit to our students to have daily physical activity, along with the improvement of socialization skills and the overall positive benefits of fresh air and vitamin D. I am in agreement with the lady that wrote to the paper, please remember those that voted against this at voting time, we need people that will work for our children, they are our future.