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Manchester, Georgia
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February 24, 2012     The Hogansville Herald
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February 24, 2012
 

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Opinions & Ideas PAGE 4A - HOGaNSVn HERAt,D - THURSDAY, J 23, 2012 L. 2. THE HOGANSVILLE HERALD USPS U0-040 ROBERT E. TRIBBLE, President JOHN KUYKENDALL KIM MITCHELL PUBLISHER/EDITOR BUSINESS MANAGER ANDY KOBER Phone (706) 846-3188 ASSOCIATE EDITOR Fax: (706) 846-2206 news@ star-mercury.com BRYAN GETER P.O. Box 426 ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE Manchester, GA 31816 Official Legal Organ for the Cio" of Hogansville Child Strip Searched At a Middle School? The Clayton County School System is in trouble again. Last week a middle school student claimed in a lawsuit he was humiliated and traumatized when he was brought to a vice principal's office and forced to strip in front of other classmates who said he was in possession of marijuana. The student, then in the seventh-grade, said he still suffers from emotional dis- tress because his classmates taunted him by calling him "Superman", the underwear he was wearing when he was strip-searched. The student is suing the Clayton County school district for unspeci- fied punitive and compensa- tory damages. The student, identified in court documents as D.H., said officials at Eddie White Academy initially strip- searched three other stu- dents on Feb. 8, 2011, after suspecting they had marijua- na. One of them accused D.H. of having drugs, and he was brought to then-vice princi- pal Tyrus McDowell's office. While the three class- mates watched, D.H.'s pgck- ets and ........ were searched but searchers did- n't find anything, the lawsuit said. One of the students told school officials he had lied about D.H. having drugs, but administrators continued the search as D.H. begged to be taken to the bathroom for more privacy, according to the lawsuit. D.H. was ordered to strip and again, no drugs were found. "The strip searches were done intentionally, willfully, wantonly, maliciously, reck- lessly, sadistically, deliber- ately, with callous indiffer- ence to their consequences," according to the lawsuit, which also names as defen- dants the county's sheriff's department and Ricky Redding, the school's resource officer. THE STUDENT'S attor- ney, Gerry Weber, said a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court ruling found school officials could- n't perform even a partial strip search of a student, even if they have probable cause. Weber also litigated a case nearly a decade ago in which the federal appeals court in Atlanta found that a mass strip search of Clayton County students was uncon- stitutional because it violat- ed their Fourth Amendment rights, which protect against an unreasonable search and seLzure. "This is like deja vu," said Weber. "It is simply beyond belief that students are still being stripped naked in the Clayton County schools." Redding, who was also accused in the complaint of being involved in the search, was fired about a month later, the lawsuit said. McDowell was placed on administrative leave before subsequently resigning. The student's mother, Angela Dawson, said her son still hasn't recovered. 'This situation has broken the very foundation of my child's education because in order for him to learn, he has to believe that what schools are trying to teach him is right and now he questions them after they stripped him of his clothes and dignity," she said. 'TIis trust is broken." I CAN'T imagine how any adult in their right mind would conduct a strip search of a student in the presence of other students as they watch. There is not one of us, as an adult, that would like to be strip searched in front of an audience. In my opinion the vice principal and the school resource officer knew exact- ly what they were doing and had every intention of humil- iating the student and that is awful. Simply put, the two men didn't care about the student's feelings, how it might affect him or anything except being able to show they were the ultimate power and everyone will do as told and "bow down to the master." Don't get me wrong, I understand the need to do searches if officers and the school system feels the per- son is in possession of drugs, but I'm also sure that the school resource officers and the principal's and vice prin- cipal's in our area willrespect the student's right to priva- cy in such a situation. Sometimes however, it takes something like this to make us wake up and real- ized just how blessed we are. We have good schools in this area, with good teachers, principals and staff, as well as very qualified school resource Officers. While our school systems may not be perfect, other sys- tems pale in comparison to each of them, not just in the quality of education our chil- dren are receiving, but in the respect and dedication given to the students. I'm thankful for the way our local school systems are operated. Aren't you? T HOGANSVILLE HERALD is published weekly by Trib Publications. Inc. at 3051 Roosevelt Highway, Manchester, Georgia 31816. The Hogansville Herald is published proudly for the citizens of Hogansville and its goal is to produce quality, profitable, community oriented newspa- pers that you, our readers, are proud of. We will reach that goal through hard work, teamwork, loyalty, and a strong dedication toward printing the truth. USPS 642-040. Subscription rates by mail: $25 in Troup, Harris or Meriwether Counties; $32.50 a year in state; $40 out of state. Prices include all sales taxes. Periodical postage paid at Hogansville, Georgia 30230.Single copy 50. FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS call (706) 846-3188 or write to Circulation Manager, Trib Publications, P. O. Box 426, Manchester, Georgia 31816. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to E O. Box 426, Manchester, GA31816. Leaders Must Put USA Back to Work With America still facing a sluggish economy and great uncertainty Washington law- makers must not slip into a do nothing campaign mode before the elections in November. Instead they must get busy working with the business community to put Americans back to work. U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donahue says that American business is improving but it is doing so very slowly. Most recent job numbers have been positive with unemploy- ment going down to 8.5% which is a slight improve- ment but there are still 23 mil- lion Americans unemployed or working part-time. In order to put more Americans back to work the economy must grow faster than it currently is, however Donohue feels that the econ- omy could slow dovn during the first part of 2012. He outlined the Chamber's 2012 policy agen- da which would expand the economy, create jobs and boost American's competi- tiveness as follows: (1) Produce American energy and rebuild the infrastruc- ture. (2) Expand trade, invest- ment and tourism. (3) Advance regulatory andlegai reform. (4) Develop an inno- vation agenda. (5) Control spending and reform entitle- ments. Donohue saysthatthereal roadblock to stronger eco- nomic growth, betterjobsand more opportunities for all Americans is lack of leader- ship in Washington. Wehat we can plainly see is an urgent need for leaders in every sec- tor and at every level who are dedicated to meeting the Country's challenges, solving problems and helping America achieve her full potential. Real leaders don't ignore realities. They don't sweep problems under the rug. They don't point Emgers. They don't divide us. They seek to unite us," he said. As we move into 2012 the question that is yet to be answered concerns the eco- nomic growth that our econ- omy will see during the year. During 2011 the economy grew at a rate of less tlmn 2% according to the U.S. Chamber. During the first half of 2011 the growth rate was less than 1% due to ris- ing oil prices and other events around the world. Then it picked up in the second half of the year to almost 2%. According to figures given by the Chamber holi- day shopping was better in December 2011 compared to 2010 with sales up over 3%. Other helpful trends were the resumption of banks' lending to businesses and corporate profits that plunged during the recession expected to improve. Boosted in part by tax incentives investment in equipment and software was one of the contributors to GDP growth in 2011. Investment in equipment and software should remain solid during 2012 and we should get a boost from investments in structures. Another good trend over the past year has been the improvement in net exports, caused by a weaker dollar and a reduced demand for imports. Export growth was not strong in 2011because the world economy slowed. As consumption continues to pickup in 2012 imports should increase which could slow the growth of exports. Job creation began to increase last September and an average of 156,000 new jobs was created each month through December. The job:: growth has affected the unemployment rate which dropped nationwide from: 9.1% in August to 8.5% in December. Another factor lias bean the decline in the labor forceparti(lpationrate. " Our economy is current, ly showing signs of strength and we are guardedly opti,,: mistic about continued pos: tire growth this year, a U.S. Chamber official said. There Is a Sucker Born Every Minute Last week I got one of those calls asking me to warn people about identity theft and giving out personal infor- mation. Many of us in the media get those calls periodically. Most of us, myself included, have written warnings about giving out personal informa- tion that can lead to identity theft and having your bank to purchase a Rolex watch really cheap. I am not a Rolex kind of guy. As my loving wife would note, I am, very low- maintenance. For those dumb enough to order one, rest assured the watch is not gen- uine and after you give them your credit or debit cardnum- ber and the security number "-- any other money in your account is quickly gone. accounts emptied. I received an email from But peoplestill do it. iaurineJtue331- The latest catt came from :nneeds my ht a woman, a senior citizen in our readership area, who fell for a scare She lost some money, but it could have been much worse. Thankfully, she has learned a lesson. AS I WRITE THIS, four emails dropped into my junk folder. JulitteKingsland 40745 sent me an email inviting me to "be her friend" on a web- site. I recognized the website name, but not the woman's name, so I passed on the invi- tation. I suspect the person behind this would want some personal information and somebody who really knows me would send a personal email. Somebody else invited me $5.6 million dollars from southern Sudan to the United States, and I'll get 30 percent for helping her. She prayed about this before contacting me. I'm sure somebody was praying for a mark to fall for this scam, which is repeated with amazing frequency. Fall for it and you will lose money. Vaierie Amos apologized for me being victim of a scare. I can register with her to be awarded part of a $5 million settlement set aside by the United Nations World Bank. The interesting part was the scam involved my VISA card. I don't have a VISA card. ContactValerie, giveheryour personal and financial infor- mation, and your bank account will be emptied in no time. These are but four exam- ples and there are many, on their luck, and need help. But for others it has become a profession, a way to gener- ate tax-free income preying on the generosity of others. I : would much rather see such a person holding a sign that reads, "Need Work." Some months back I was fueling my car at a place that sells our newspapers. I was approached by a woman who desperately needed money to al information or bank account information remem- ber this: A sucker is born every minute. WHILE the internet is ripe with opportunities to be scammed, those chances can be found elsewhere. Get-rich-quick schemes and foreign lotteries will only separate you from your money. If physics could real- ly see the future, they would win every legitimate lottery and not need your money. Respond to those ads and you will lose your money. Note the panhandlers standing on street corners with signs that read "Need Money- Homeless." Granted some might really be down to send any money I conldloaa  her back to me. Do I look like an easy mark? But she had two small children in her Van with a Meriwether County tag and did look rather frantic, so I gave her the benefit of the = doubt. While I did not hand over any money, I did put enough gasoline in her va0 to get her and the children=to Atlanta and back. She insist - ed that she would mail the money back to me so I gave her my business card. I still haven't seen it. Maybe she lost the card. A sucker is born every minute. That's my opinion. 40 Years Ago,.. ansville Resident bk District Delegate Past ob.,d ::: Training Center Planned ....... For Mentally Retarded Starts Toni Inthe Hogansville Herald Compd by Rot) Rkrdson POLITICAL STEPS - The top story in: the Feb. 24,1972 Hogansville Heraldwas about the youth movement in politics.:':, "Kenneth Gordon, formerly of Hogansville;i : announced today that he will seek a con- gressional district delegate post to the Democratic National Convention to be,', held-in Miami this summer. Gordon, 24, ;. attended Georgia Tech and Georgia Stat(L i " University. He graduated from West: Georgia College on political science. '- oA GOOD PROGRAM FOR EVERY DAY - Another front page story also involved young folks. l.ocal Girl Scouts gathered at the high school cafeteria to observe their annual lhinking day' program. They gave a brief talk on how Scouting began: and discussed some of the things they have accomplished this year. PENDING LITIGATION- Another sto) pertained to a lawsuit. Law enforcemert and court officials of Troup County. ma. y ,soon face a civil damage suit, according- to attorney J.C. Wyatt Jr. Wyatt repre- sented a teenaged boy who was arrest- ed following the slaying of Mary Magalyne Purdue of Hogansville.  OTHER HEADLINES - "Mary Ann Conway Is Bride of Terry Hanner;" 'Miss Winkles to Become Bnde of Thomas Norwood;" "March 3 to Be Day of Prayer;" New GymBid Open and Exceeds Allotment."