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On Friday morning, February 1, I had an unfortunate event when all the lug nuts on one of the front wheels of my Jeep decided to “shear off” while on my way to work. Needless to say, thank God I was on a secondary road driving at a slow speed.
No sooner than I started to dial the number for a tow truck, a fellow stopped to assist me, and identified himself as George. He said to give him 10 minutes -- that he’d send a couple guys to assist me.
True to his word, along came Delmar and Roger who jacked up my Jeep and reinstalled my wheel. The job was not an easy one since one of the studs was completely gone and the remaining ones were cross-threaded. They even came prepared with an inventory of lug nuts! They followed me to a safe location where a tow truck could retrieve my vehicle with ease.
I found out through Delmar and Roger, that George is the owner of East Coast Auto Source.
Not only did I have the pleasure of meeting George, Delmar and Roger, I was also able to meet my wonderful neighbor, Dana Young, who also offered assistance to me.
We do have real heroes living among us here in Bedford. I cannot thank these exceptional folks enough for coming to my rescue! It is truly uplifting to meet such kind and caring people who went out of their way to help me in a time of need.
John Barnhart, in his column entitled “Will you please stop whining!” does not seem to comprehend the difficulties that teachers face in supporting themselves or a family on the income they are provided.
I recently retired after teaching Kindergarten and Prekindergarten for 37 years in Norfolk. Many of my colleagues worked second jobs as tutors, cashiers and waitresses in order to pay their bills as well as purchase supplies for their classroom. They were also required to continue their education by the state school board in order to keep their certification current.
These teachers were not living above their means; they were just trying to survive. “Whining” is not something they did, they loved their students, they loved teaching, but they had to pay their bills.
Would Mr. Barnhart be able to support a family, pay his mortgage, save for his children’s college fund, continue his own education and purchase his own professional supplies all with a salary of $40,000? I think he would find it very difficult.
And yes, I am also a member of the professional organization that Mr. Barnhart was so quick to criticize. Without our local, state and national professional organizations, teachers and school staff would find themselves with no one to champion their cause.
Susan L. Raper
VEA / NEA member
I would like to respond to John Barnhart’s column entitled “Will you please stop whining!”.
Mr. Barnhart’s repetition of forms of the word whine numerous times not to mention his zealous use of exclamation marks shows he is clearly agitated by the fact that teachers have the temerity to ask for a raise. ... How dare they rise up and ask for a raise after five years of not receiving one. The absolute horror .
The Commonwealth of Virginia does not allow collective bargaining for public employees and that the Bedford County Education Association is not a union. The NEA, VEA and BCEA are professional organizations with limited control and power in Virginia. ...
How is it that when police and firefighters ask for a raise no one says they are whining? How is it that, while they might not receive a raise, they are still respected and considered honorable groups with respected employees?
… Everyone has been to school at some point in their lives and so all people become experts on the profession of teaching. I doubt the greater majority of people who haven’t set foot in a classroom since high school or college have any idea what goes on in said classroom. Teachers don’t just work the hours school is in session.
They take work home every weekend. They come early to school and stay late grading papers, making lesson plans and beautifying bulletin boards. They coach sports for little pay. They do this out of love for children and their profession. However they too have families and bills and mortgages and college to pay for. They don’t live in a vacuum.
But Mr. Barnhart can sit at his computer and type out a missive on whining and teachers unions and feel relatively comfortable that the citizens of Bedford County will applaud him. This time I certainly hope they don’t.
I hope that the citizens of Bedford County realize that to elevate its citizenry their children need to be well educated, nurtured and loved by teachers who are respected and compensated commensurate to their training, experience and professionalism.
Jefferson Forest High School educator ( retired)