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Letters to the Editor


After reading the article about the Longview School District Civil lawsuit pertaining to the isolation box, I was incredibly sad and disappointed. This is an injustice by adults wanting to cash in on their children’s behavior. Furthermore, I find it despicable to destroy the characters of Principal Kelly and Mr. Stein. Mr. Stein had one of the most difficult duties as a teacher. He provided a classroom for special needs children. My daughter was in his classroom from first to fifth grade. My daughter consistently used the isolation box — sometimes daily. Many children, including my daughter requested to use this small room to calm down. There is so much judgement and misunderstanding regarding the use of the isolation box. My daughter has autism, ADHD, PTSD and OCD. She was traumatized early on her life. We adopted her at age 11 from the foster care system after she had been in our home for two years. Mr. Stein and his team were instrumental in her progress. My daughter went from a self-contained classroom to successful mainstream.

Niki Favela


Save up

Thank you, Mr. Mayo, for your informative and correct views on the new tax law. The problem is you left out two important points: first, the tax savings for some of the middle class is temporary and if you think another Congress will extend it you can introduce us to the Tooth Fairy. Second, anyone who does get a tax cut should put the savings in the bank to save up for when the tax law expires for them, and they are back to paying more. The huge debt the USA will have will need to be paid.

Sara Parkin


Better options

As someone who has been placed in isolation “for my own safety” as an adult, I am saddened and disgusted by the headlines about this being done to kids in our schools. The kids’ very real experiences of pain and trauma seem to have been completely discounted by the district until money was in question because of a lawsuit. “Millions at stake”? What about “Lives at stake”? “Big question: Are they telling the truth?” What if the big question were actually: “Is this humane?” There are so many better ways to “deal” with those of us with psycho-social disabilities than isolation booths, physical restraint, and forced drugging. There are better options than isolation booths to help calm reactions to over-stimulating environments for people on the autism spectrum, such as myself. While still working through my own trauma, I am proud to be a 4.0 college student and a contributing member of society. All kids have hope. State laws which allow for this mistreatment must be addressed, as does society’s attitude toward all people with disabilities.

Minette Smith


Wage increases

Again, government employees are getting annual raises based on cost of living increase or in order to keep quality employees working in our community.

While the private sector remains the same, decreases, or eliminates positions.

Government employee wages are based on OPM (Other People’s Money) instead of profit or loss. Or, they are based on increasing economic projections and growth factors that aren’t equally felt in every community. This increases local positions that are inflated out of line with the local economy. We are told we need to compete with other areas, or lose qualified people. We should base our community incomes on our cost of living, economy and quality of life not any one else. In many cases we hire these people, and they don’t even live in our community.

With our county growth rate less than 1 percent, I find these increases unfounded and unjust.

The recent increase to the head of the PUD will lead to rate increase for all of us, while our incomes stay the same.

Mark Smith