Letters to the Editor

Letters on privatizing custodians, child abuse prevention, Petraeus

Bad idea to privatize school custodians

I support the letter “District should resist pressure to privatize” (April 14 Letters to the Editor). I worked for the Blue Valley school district as a building custodian for almost five years in the 1980s. In my last two years, the district contracted with a major cleaning service for custodial and building management services.

The company first completely removed all of our equipment and supplies and replaced them with its own. The equipment and supplies were proprietary, and the company retained ownership and control. Then it placed the original district managers into line jobs and moved the original building supervisors from the district employment to working for the company, ending their memberships in the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. After that, things got very nasty.

Personnel were being terminated right and left, for minor violations, frightening long-term, loyal personnel. The contractor had actually depleted us to skeletal staffing at the buildings, and was picking up dregs off of the street to work in open jobs. Turnover was rampant. Principals did lose control of the custodial staff in their buildings, and district maintenance work orders were slowed to a crawl.

Nothing good will come from moving building custodial and maintenance services to privatization. Environmental quality as well as safety for the students will be compromised. I am certain because I’ve already seen it happen.

Mike Keating, Park City

Help prevent abuse

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Kansas Children’s Service League, as the Prevent Child Abuse Kansas chapter, is encouraging people across the state to take simple, ordinary actions every day that make a difference in the lives of children. Actions can be anything from organizing neighborhood activities to offering to babysit for a neighbor or volunteering at child-serving agencies such as our local chapter.

We believe that all children deserve great childhoods, and we are asking members of the public to tell us about the actions they’re taking to make that vision a reality.

You can support Prevent Child Abuse Kansas by buying pinwheels at the website kcsl.org/cap_month.aspx, and celebrate Child Abuse Prevention Month by planting pinwheels to honor those who helped you or your children have great childhoods.

This year, Prevent Child Abuse Kansas celebrates its 40th anniversary. Now is the time to make child abuse prevention not just a priority during April but every day. Together we can create a better Kansas where all children have the great childhoods they deserve, and abuse and neglect never occur. Learn more about prevention efforts at kcsl.org, or call 1-800-CHILDREN.

Vicky Roper, Wichita

Director, Prevent Child Abuse Kansas

Clinton no Petraeus

Gen. David Petraeus is one of the greatest military minds of our era. He snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the Iraq War and handed a slam-dunk to the Obama administration.

Instead of capitalizing on this victory, President Obama replaced a generation of political and military success in the Middle East with the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran and a cult of death that has metastasized throughout the world.

While Petraeus’ name has been dragged through the mud for his indiscretions, 6,600 convicted felons have been released from prison by the Obama administration because their sentences were deemed too harsh. The crimes committed by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton outweigh anything Petraeus did, yet she continues to receive a pass from the radical media.

If anyone deserves consideration for past mistakes, it is a hero like Petraeus, not thousands of dope peddlers or crooked politicians like Clinton.

Gregory H. Bontrager, Hutchinson

Letters to the Editor

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