Education is the foundation of any civilized society. For this reason, our nation's Founding Fathers specified in the Constitution that one of our government's top powers is to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts." The "Writings and Discoveries" protected by Article I, Section VIII are so protected, not as a matter of property, but for the value of knowledge in America.
By weakening West Virginia's higher education system with a proposed 7.5 percent budget cut, Gov. Tomblin is weakening the entire state. As the world around us is moving at an increasingly quick rate toward jobs that require advanced degrees, we could find ourselves lagging -- a lag that will passed on to future generations, to whom higher education will be even more important and, unfortunately, more difficult to obtain.
We -- all public college students in West Virginia -- should recognize the leadership of those like Adam Fridley, chairman of the State Advisory Council of Students and our Marshall University student government's chief of staff, for his hard work and dedication in opposition to this budget cut. More importantly, stand with us students and sign a petition today.
Tommy D.G. Ferrell
Student Government Association
A few suggestions for safer schools
Concerning the school shooting and gun control: I am a gun owner, hunter, and have a concealed weapons permit. All of my guns are locked in a gun safe, and the ammunition located in a different location.
All I have heard about protecting kids is to punish law-abiding gun owners. I haven't heard anything that is actually going to stop a truly crazy criminal from committing a crime against our kids and teachers.
I would gladly pay extra taxes on any gun and ammunition that I purchase if the money went to protect kids and teachers. I would propose to protect kids and teachers by upgrading our schools.
We have professionals who design prisons to keep people in. Why not hire those same people to design schools to keep people out? I would recommend replacing all ground floor windows with bulletproof glass. Make all doors also bulletproof. Install an electronic locking system that can be controlled from the principal's office. And have it automatically contact 911 if activated.
Have drills to train kids what to do in an emergency. Design interior doors and locks so they can only be opened from the inside, or with a master key that only staff has.
Have a security camera system that can be viewed from every teacher's computer, in every classroom. And give every teacher a school-issued cellphone to carry any place on school property or school field trip that is for 911 only.
I don't think anyone would complain about extra taxes, if they actually serve a purpose.
The sad truth about owning guns
The sad part about gun ownership: It doesn't take much intelligence to use a gun. All one has to do is "squeeze" the trigger. Bang, bang, you're dead.