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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Letters to the Editor

Punish, yes, but also embrace
I takes a village to raise a child, Berlin. The recent acts of vandalism in our beautiful town, while costly and cruel, are rare.  
The majority of our youth attend Blue Ribbon schools and grow up to be productive and enthusiastic members of the Berlin community. Many other towns seek to emulate what we have here, a thriving business environment, the pride, charm and friendliness of small town America.
The children involved in spray painting graffiti on buildings and cars deserve to be punished, without a doubt. And then what? We have an opportunity here to show our strength and compassion as a community.  
The criminal justice system can be a slippery slope, especially for minors. What if we collectively decide not to let these children slip through the cracks of society?
What if we undertake the challenge of mentoring, teaching and guiding our young people toward success and a happy life? Compassion is learned through actions, being loved and made to feel a part of a family.  
We all know that Berlin can rally citizens to help a friend in need in no time flat. We are so much better than the focus of several recent media accounts. All of us have done something regrettable in the past, faced the consequences of our actions and learned from our mistakes.  
Let us embrace the troubled children involved in the graffiti, show them that we care enough to help them seek redemption and set them on a path that is both positive and productive.  
Dee and Hannah Gilbert

These incidents were isolated
The NAACP conducted an independent investigation into the incidents that occurred at Stephen Decatur High School on Jan. 21, 2015 and the following day at the Berlin McDonald’s.
After examining the videos, our investigation revealed that several students who attend SDHS were involved in a physical altercation at the school and at McDonald’s.  
The NAACP conducted interviews with several individuals who were present during these altercations. During the course of both investigations, we discovered that some students who were involved in these incidents have already put their personal differences aside and are friends again.
The NAACP does not condone physical altercations among our students at SDHS or any schools.
The NAACP challenges parents to sit down with their children and explain to them that violence will not and cannot solve anything.
Every school in Worcester County is equipped with resource officers, who have been placed in our schools to keep our students safe. Hopefully there will be no additional incidents. If there are concerns, however, I would encourage parents and students to contact the resource officers who are trained to investigate situations prior to them becoming a serious incident.
The NAACP wants people to know that these are isolated incidents and are in no way related to the vehicles that were spray painted in Berlin.
Our kids are our future. It is up to us to make sure that our kids achieve their goals in life. Students need to express their energy in the classrooms and not towards each other.
Ivory Smith
Worcester County NAACP 

Sacrificing research for sake of politics
In late 1979, our daughter, Heidi, then 17, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease, a blood cancer. Her outlook was good, and she was treated with chemotherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York for several months.
She was hopeful that she’d be able to begin college in September 1980. But that summer, she was exposed to the chicken pox virus, varicella zoster, for which there was no vaccine at that time.  
Because of her cancer treatments, her immune system was compromised and she died in November of 1980, not of the cancer, but of the chicken pox.
Several years later, after much scientific research, a vaccine was developed to prevent chicken pox. Children with compromised and healthy immune systems are now protected from death from this common childhood disease.
It is incomprehensible to me how the results of hard and proven science are today looked upon by some as myth, or optional choices. It would be the end of civilization as we know it if the childhood scourges of my young life were unloosed today among our children – polio, measles, whooping cough, diphtheria, chickenpox and more – because scientific research had been placed on the sacrificial altar of opinion, feelings and ignorance.
Barbara Doyle Schmid
Ocean Pines