Letters – Helping volunteers and children


Martindale VFD thanks supporters

To the Editor:

The Martindale Volunteer Fire Department would like to sincerely thank all of the members of the community that responded to our call for petition signatures for our Emergency Services District petition.

We had an amazing response from everyone we spoke to. We look forward to working wit

h members of the community for years to come. We would also like to thank all of the board members, firefighters, City Council members, and our Mayor for all of the assistance and hard work.

After three years of attempts to get on the ballot it looks like we will finally be able to get there. With sincere appreciation for all of the support,

Lt. John Stebbins

Martindale VFD


Children need extra support in summer

To the Editor:

For many children, the next few months will be fun-filled hot summer days with happy childhood memories being created. Sadly, though, my thoughts turn to children facing a different reality.

When children are in school, there are extra eyes and ears keeping up with their lives as their teachers see them every day. A teacher is often the one who notices changes and is a trusted person a child can open up to when he is not safe at home. According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services 2013 Data Book, In 2013 there were 40,700 reports of abuse made to CPS by teachers, the highest percentage of reports at 17.7 percent.

But when school is out for the summer, teachers no longer see the children daily. Our Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers will not let the summer go by without checking to make sure the children are safe and have someone they can confide in.

Texas law states that anyone who thinks a child is being abused, neglected or exploited must make a report to DFPS. A person who reports abuse in good faith is immune from civil or criminal liability. DFPS keeps the name of the person making the report confidential. Anyone who does not report suspected abuse can be held liable for a misdemeanor or felony.

During the summer months, it is especially important for concerned community members to report suspected child abuse to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services at www.txabusehotline.org or by calling (800) 252-5400. Teachers are a great resource for children, but they must not be the only resource.

Keep the children on your mind and in your hearts as you enjoy this summertime, and remember that the children in our community are also the future of our community.

Norma Castilla-Blackwell

Executive Director

CASA of Central Texas, Inc.



Veteran teacher offers solutions

To the Editor:

In response to last week’s thoughtful “Clocktower,” I would offer the following:

Our schools now promote an atmosphere of impersonality and lack of worthiness to our students. Teachers are being asked to be on the same page, saying the same thing to each class in a given grade, rather than teaching to the students, and everything is judged by standardized tests generated by people far removed from the students.

In this environment, a lot of negative behaviors surface.

I would propose a solution to all of this would be to test each student for personality and for aptitude at the beginning of school, and then look at what career path the student’s profile fits and give the student a plan for success for the variety of jobs the student’s profile fits.

Re-testing at the student’s request should be available, and school curriculum cold be tailored such that, by the end of high school, the student has career options, and the curriculum has not forced the student to perform tasks unrelated to their success in a career path beyond basic knowledge.

When a student is successful, they stay in school, and will become productive, happy citizens.

That, after all, is the goal of a society.

Dave Mills



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