I take issue with the May 7 editorial on teacher “double dipping.”

Retired teachers who go back to work to help meet the state’s recurring shortage are not being paid twice for the same job. They contract with the state to teach for a set number of years at a set pay and retirement benefit.

Having met that promise (in spite of the state’s failure to adhere to its on laws regarding salary, hours, textbooks, buses, etc.) retirees have now contracted to do a new job.

It costs the same or less to hire a retiree as it does to recruit a new teacher.

In fact, the possibility of a post-retirement position is a motivation for teachers to remain in the profession despite well-documented reasons for the mass exodus of teachers from our schools each year.

Furthermore, the shortage of funds in the retirement system was not caused by “double dipping.”

I would urge you to support meaningful solutions to the educational challenges facing our school systems rather than trying to scapegoat teachers who have spent their careers providing students with the means and hope to be successful in today’s world.

GENE ROBBINS

Wells Road

North Augusta

Balance of nature

After reading about alligators being killed if they are more than 4 feet long, it becomes clear that we kill any creature that gets in the way without any regard to the balance of nature.

We are by far the most destructive creature to have ever roamed the earth.

Alligators have survived millions of years, but they can’t seem to survive us. Much to our detriment, we will be left with no biodiversity, except possibly for rats.

This is not the Homo sapiens planet. This is the animal planet and we need to do a better job of respecting it.

BARBARA CULLEN

Henrietta Hartford Road

Mount Pleasant

Do more than weep

Two people were killed and four injured when a man opened fire with a handgun in a classroom at UNC-Charlotte.

One person was killed and three injured at Chabad of Poway in California when a shooter with a semiautomatic rifle opened fire.

Shootings are weekly and deaths are mounting beyond epidemic proportions.

Hate that cuts across race, religion and sexual orientation is spreading like a highly contagious disease.

Divisive rhetoric and the ready availability of guns are its vectors.

Our public health system knows how to respond to epidemics by immediately and efficiently quarantining unvaccinated children after 700 reported cases of measles. There have been no deaths.

With more than 30,000 deaths reported annually from gun violence, where is the public health and legislative response to be equally proactive and immediate?

What words of comfort do we offer families who suffer the most tragic of losses, to witnesses forever traumatized, to the shooter’s family or the outraged communities beyond the walls of congregations and campuses?

Each needs, deserves and requires a response from legislatures and us. Each shot fired cries out for an urgent recalculation of social expectations and laws.

Answers are not easy. The conversations are complicated. The disturbing reality is that we are so numb to catastrophic events that we cannot agree on the questions to ask, or even the conversations to engage.

Weep, send your condolences, speak your love. Don’t stop there. Indict the system. Stand on the side of love and demand that the rhetoric of hate be banned as well as the prolific profiteering from guns.

REV. DR. ELAINE BETH PERESLUHA

Stevenson Drive

Charleston

Thanks to NCPD

I wanted to take a minute and recognize the North Charleston Police Department. So often these days, we are quick to judge and criticize police officers for things that we feel are not done correctly.

I feel that we need to encourage and thank these individuals for putting themselves in harm’s way to protect us.

On the morning of May 3, I was involved in a car accident. The traffic was heavy and I was focused on getting where I needed to in a timely fashion. The situation was highly stressful and scary.

At my time of need, Officer L.A. Simmons provided comfort. He handled the situation with care and concern while quickly and effectively resolving the incident.

He provided a comforting smile and stayed with me to ensure my safety until I left the area.

I cannot thank him enough for the care and concern he expressed in my time of need.

Many thanks to all the police officers of the Charleston and North Charleston area for their hard work. In large and small ways, you make a difference in our community every day and it is very much appreciated.

MELODIE PARRISH

Ashley Crossing Lane

Charleston

Beachwalker delays

After reading the May 4 Post and Courier article about construction delays at Kiawah Beachwalker Park, it appears the inept Charleston County government has once again let us down.

The public will have to wait until at least Memorial Day weekend to get access to what is consistently rated among the Top 10 beaches on the East Coast.

I hope the contracts for completion of the work include penalties to at least make up part of what the county is losing in admission fees.

The delays were supposedly caused by delays in permitting, weather and late material deliveries.

It was wet early on, but lately we’ve been in a drought. Permits should have been in place before the work began. Doesn’t Charleston County issue the permits?

As for materials, I’ll bet that in a pinch, most of them could have been procured at the nearest Lowe’s or Home Depot.

This is not the county’s finest hour.

RONALD BUCHHOLZ

Pasdalum Court

Charleston

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