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The Post and Courier provides a forum for our readers to share their opinions, and to hold up a mirror to our community. Publication does not imply endorsement by the newspaper; the editorial staff attempts to select a representative sample of letters because we believe it’s important to let our readers see the range of opinions their neighbors submit for publication.

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Letters to the Editor: School reopening raises safety issues

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School officials urging parents to make preparations for possible midday bus drivers strike (copy)

Durham School Services buses wait or students at Buist Academy. File/Brad Nettles/staff

As a retired educator, the idea of reopening public schools in August is appalling. There is no effective way that social distancing can be enforced without endangering children.

How about schools buses? How could a standard-size classroom, especially in kindergarten and elementary school, be arranged to ensure enthusiastic learners would be a safe distance apart? How would school leaders create a plan for safety feeding hundreds of students on a daily basis?

Until we can guarantee the safety of children, I hope that all school board members, all superintendents, educators and parents will rally against this idea and think very carefully before reopening our public schools.

CAROL M. ONORATO

Bream Road

North Charleston

Play ball!

On Jan. 15, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt penned the famous “Green Light Letter,” writing “I honestly feel that it would be best for the country to keep baseball going.”

President Roosevelt’s letter was, of course, in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States’ entry into World War II.

As we know, baseball did continue during the war years and its popularity reached new highs. Today, baseball faces a similar decision.

Yes, the circumstances differ, and yes, there are concerns about the health and safety of players, employees and patrons that were not present in 1942.

But I would argue the common thread between 1942 and 2020 is more profound than any distinction: Baseball is good for our country’s morale in a time of crisis.

Play without fans, play an abbreviated schedule, give the National League a DH, ensure everyone involved is safe, but just play.

Don’t let finances stand in the way of a chance to put baseball back into our country’s living rooms. Make fresh-squeezed, ballpark lemonade out of these lemons and play ball, Mr. Commissioner.

ANNA McCANN

Cambridge Lakes Drive

Mount Pleasant

'Corrupt legislation'

I applaud The Post and Courier for exposing the effects of the pay raises advocated by S.C. Chief Justice Don Beatty and approved by the General Assembly, resulting in an average $37,000-per-year increase in pension payments to judges, solicitors and public defenders.

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With this raise, these officials will average $140,000 in yearly pension payments for the rest of their lives.

State law already allowed them to collect both their salaries and pensions if they “retire” but keep working (double-dipping); that means that some could be earning about $250,000 as state employees.

Regular state retirees such as teachers and state troopers, who in my opinion are equally or more important, are restricted to collecting a maximum of $10,000 yearly from their pensions if they desire to retire and return to work to serve the public.

Supporters didn’t talk about the pension increase, but they argued that the whooping 35% pay raise was necessary for recruiting and retaining high-quality judges, solicitors and public defenders.

Wow! Do you know how hard it is to recruit new police officers, teachers and correction officers?

This corrupt legislation is better than winning a $1 million lottery, which would pay out $33,333 a year over 30 years, or $4,000 less than the average judicial retiree’s increased pension for life.

MICHAEL LYNCH

Harleston Green Lane

Mount Pleasant

End-of-life options

When I read stories about COVID-19 illnesses and the difficult deaths, I ask myself what it might be like to be intubated, feverish and coughing uncontrollably.

If it comes to that for me, whether from COVID-19 or from some other debilitating disease, I want to have a say in how I am treated by attending physicians and nurses.

I have a written advance directive and have a friend who has agreed to hold my health care power of attorney so that if I cannot speak for myself, what I do (and don’t) want for my own health care will be known and honored by my medical team.

Everyone should have the option to make care decisions that are right for them, decisions that align with their values, priorities and beliefs.

It is not for me to judge someone else’s decision about how much suffering they choose to endure, but I stand with many Americans who believe in self-determination, privacy and autonomy at the end of life.

Many people cannot afford to hire a legal professional to help them with health care planning, and physicians are not equally open to all options.

I volunteer with Compassion & Choices, a national nonprofit organization. They have a free toolkit available at CompassionandChoices.org, and free online webinars to help people understand their options

RICHARD HENDRY

Little Oak Drive

Folly Beach

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