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Having a say

    As a student of Body Camp I think I should have a say. 

    Now, I do.  I’m frustrated that they are closing Body Camp.  My mother doesn’t know at all where to put my autistic brother, because Body Camp provides such an education for every child in the school. 

    But where will Body Camp’s teachers go?  Especially our principal, where will he go? 

    I’ve went to three schools, and in all, Body Camp has the best behaved students.  That is because of our staff.  Their skills with children will not be put to good use or anything that suits them. 

    I went to a meeting at Thaxton Elementary recently; I heard that they would be closed down for Pre-K programs!  Where will all the other grades go?!  I love Body Camp.  I am outraged!  I say it’s the school’s decision and I demand a vote on the school’s closing.  Even though Body Camp is old, it is still standing.


Kailee Vick

Body Camp Elem. student

It’s not right

    The government is trying to shut down my school, Body Camp Elementary.  I don’t think that is right.  So I’m going to say some reasons why they shouldn’t shut us down, or reasons why they want to shut us down. 

    A reason they want to shut it down is the area we are in.  That is not right.  They shouldn’t shut our school down for that!  Our school is a great school!  What about how long we would have to ride the bus to go to different schools? 

    I live 10 minutes away from Body Camp and I still have to ride the bus for 35 minutes!  Our school is great!  People from different districts come here for the great education! 

    Also, we would lose our friends.  A bad reason for me is that I am diabetic, and the nurse from my school is familiar with me.  Also, I don’t want to lose my principal Dr. McGinnis.  This one thing makes me very angry, the one thing that makes me angry is that I want to be a teacher and what the government’s doing, there is a good chance there won’t be any teaching jobs left. 

    There are plenty of reasons why they shouldn’t shut us down!

Carly Karnes

Body Camp Elem. student

Hate to see schools close


    I am saddened to hear the talk of the possibility of closing some local county area schools.

    I do not have children or anyone personally in any of them, but I do know the roots of the schools in question and can certainly relate with the feelings of the parents and the students in particular.  I was a student for many years at Otterburn Academy before it closed due to finances and the lack of community support for a private school in Bedford County.  We received great academics, skills and personal care and commitment from our teachers there for many years. I believe the students who went there will agree that we received an education of value and academics that were above measure and yet due to the lack of people to support it and the money it took to fund it, the school had no choice but to close.

     I can well remember the nights my father went to the board meetings that we would wait up each time just to hear if they had to vote to close it or not. We were very sad the day it had to close as it had been a known statue in the community and a lot of sweat, work, energy, donations and sacrifices of the parents had gone into keeping it open for their children to receive a great education. 

    So I can somewhat relate with the feelings in the students and parents of these schools in question.  I personally feel there are many other ways of cutting back without just closing the doors. For instance in schools today the sports programs and buses that run just for those extra activities as well as bands and extra monies put into that and the computers put into the smaller age rooms could probably be reduced.  I am sure there are many places in the budget and expenses that could be well cut and keep the schools open if enough of the officials really want to work at it.  I applaud the parents and students for taking a stand to fight for what they believe should remain.

Wanda Toms


Thank you

    A big thank you to the snow plow drivers who have worked to clear the roads around here.  To the employees of Bedford City, Bedford County and Virginia Dept. of Transportation your hard work does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.  Thank you for all you have done this winter to keep our roads as clean and free of snow and ice as possible.

Alan Atkins,


Trimming the budget

    John Barnhart had some excellent suggestions for trimming the Bedford County Public Schools budget.  I have some additional suggestions:

    • Turn the Pre-K program over to the private sector.  We have some very good pre-schools in Bedford.  The school system could pay the tuition for “at risk” children to attend one of them at great savings to the taxpayers.  Taxpayers would not have to pay for other children to attend in order to “balance the classrooms”. 

    • Pay only a portion of employees’ health insurance, as most businesses do.

    • Reduce retirement benefits.

    • Suspend or reduce tuition assistance for continuing education.  When an employee completes a degree program they receive additional salary as compensation for their hard work and tuition payments.

Susan Stanley


No belief

in a god

    Mark Twain said “faith is believing what you know ain’t so.”  Maybe that’s why at least one billion people have no belief in a god.  These non-believers come from the safest, healthiest, most educated, most charitable, most technologically advanced and most crime-free nations on earth, according to the research of Zuckerman.  Countries with high percentages of unbelievers include global bright spots like Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Japan, Canada and France.  These people are not the world’s idiots.

    Also, scientists as a group fail to see these “obvious” gods whom believers keep talking about.  Despite the fact that the U. S. is a highly religious society, almost all elite American scientists are non-believers.  Researchers Larson and Witham found that only 1 percentof the National Academy of Sciences members were believers.  To many of them, reliance on faith is a complete surrender of the mind or at least a stubborn reluctance to think.  Why, for example, shouldn’t a person who defends her god on faith, not defend the existence of the thousands of other gods?  Maybe, as Dawkins says, everyone is an atheist except for their god.  If a Christian were born in Iraq rather than the US, he/she would surely have been a Muslim.  What does this say about the uniqueness of the Christian God?

    It’s clear that arguments based on reason and reality are not likely to have much of an impact on a concept that has nothing to do with either.  Further, faith doesn’t lose debates because it doesn’t play by the rules.  Dawkins says, “Faith is evil precisely because it requires no justification and brooks no argument.”

    Many thousands of excavations have been conducted all over the world and not one artifact has been found that provides direct evidence of even one god, one miracle, one angel, one genie, or one demon.  The shroud of Turin is but one example of the many frauds that have been perpetrated.  So where is the scientific evidence for a god?  Charles Darwin said, “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.  It is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”  Maybe Lucretius was right, “Fear was the first thing on earth to make gods.”  Or maybe Mark Twain was right, “it ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bothers me, it is the parts that I do understand.”  Or maybe Aristotle was right, “Prayers and sacrifices are of no avail” and “men created gods after their own image.”  Xenophanes speculated that "if horses had gods, those gods would be horses.”

    Many will use Hitler as an example of the horrors of unbelief, but he is the wrong choice for atheism’s poster boy.  Hitler was not an atheist, at least not according to his own written and spoken words.  He was raised a Christian and as an adult quoted the Bible and drew upon religion for inspiration.  From Mein Kampf:  “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.  By defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”  Even more significant, virtually all of his enthusiastic supporters were believers too, from his generals right down to the Third Reich’s privates.  It wasn’t atheists delivering Jews to death camps.  It was believers.  Without a doubt, future generations will shake their heads and wonder how this could have happened.  They do today.

David McLoughlin