What Children Are Learning

This is an open letter to all parents of children in the Prince William summer school program as well as to all taxpayers in Prince William County.

If your child is attending the summer school program in Prince William County, do not assume that you are getting the most value for your money. The hiring personnel have an unorthodox method of hiring the summer school staff. They take the most qualified students who apply for positions of assistant and put their applications on the bottom of the pile.

I am the parent of two such students who have worked in the county summer school program for the last two years. They were recruited in April to apply for positions again this summer. They applied and logically assumed they would receive jobs.

Consequently, they did not apply for other jobs. They were never notified. When they called on June 28 to find out where they would be working, they were informed that students who have worked for two years are "put on the bottom of the pile" and are never notified of this status. They did not receive positions this year.

As a parent and a taxpayer in this county, I am infuriated that such practices exist and continue to. I wonder if this practice spills over to hiring other staff as well. I have written to School Superintendent Edward L. Kelly and School Board member Lyle G. Beefelt (Brentsville) concerning this and have not had any response. I would be seriously concerned if I were sending my children to one of these programs.

Character education is becoming a growing issue in the state considering the new law mandating character instruction in school. Perhaps ethics should begin at the top.



We Are Family

My stepmom, Gail Johnson, candidate for School Board from the Gainesville District, recently told me she had heard a rumor that she didn't have any children. I guess one of her opponents started this rumor as a way to say my stepmom doesn't quality to be on the School Board.

Well, I'm living proof that Gail Johnson has a child! Actually, there are two of us, but I'll only tell my part of the story here. (I'll let my sister speak for herself, which she'll probably do anyway.)

In 1986 my dad married Gail, and I came along with the package! I was 11 then and starting sixth-grade that fall. Through those rough and tumble years of middle school and high school, Gail was there for me.

It's got to be tough being a stepmom, but I felt pretty lucky having her, especially when I needed somebody to talk to. She's still there when I want to talk things out. Gail will always be there for her children. She's just that kind of person.

So, to all the people of the Gainesville District, I am here to tell you that Gail Johnson has kids! I'm one of them, and I'm lucky that she is my stepmom forever.



Stop 'Speedway' Mentality

As a resident of the "Indianapolis Speedway," oops, I mean Sudley Road, I was quite interested in an article from the July 17 Washington Post. It dealt with the ticketing of speeders in Lawtey, Fla., and how this ticketing has generated $400,000 a year for the town of 900 people. I also read an article in the Prince William Extra concerning the City of Manassas's expected budget deficit for fiscal '99 and the next few years.

Having watched cars continually speed past my house between 35 and 50 miles per hour (in a 25-mph zone between Grant and Portner avenues), I feel the city is missing a golden opportunity to make up some of its budget deficit by not initiating and pursuing an aggressive program to continually ticket speeders on this stretch of road. The once or twice a week ticketing isn't stopping the speeding and adds little money to the treasury.

It is high time to crack down on speeders, period. Not only in the city, but in the county, state and nation as well. If the speed limit is 25, 35, 55 or 65 mph, let's strictly enforce it. If we choose not to, then eliminate them altogether so that we can further fuel the undisciplined and chaotic style of life that currently exists in our mad, mad world.



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