DUI ruling bad message

Sometimes giving second chances may not be the proper solution. Allowing a pass for the DUI arrest of Principal Swanitz sends the wrong message to our local students and community.

Administrators and educators of our children are leaders and role models and should be held to a higher standard. The proper handling of this incident should have had a different outcome.

Responsible alcohol consumption is an individual decision. Swanitz was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. A 170-pound man would have to drink five to six glasses of wine, or six beers within a two-hour period in order to be considered legally drunk. His alcohol content was over the 0.08 legal limit. Drinking to the point of intoxication was his choice. But, the situation became dangerous when he made the decision to get in his car and drive.

The teachable-moment penance will likely work against the goal of cautioning students about the realities and potential dangers of alcohol. Our children deserve better adult leadership, along with a zero-tolerance policy. Let’s start now.

Steve Hartstein

Santa Ynez

How many teachers = 1 armed guard?

For 25 years I worked as the County Safe Schools Coordinator. Expert trainers worked with teachers, administrators, parents, and students on bullying, using social media safely, effects of violent video games, safe listening circles (where the students identified red-flag areas on campus). Most schools incorporated Asset Development to identify the areas of support students had or did not have and worked to strengthen the low areas to increase success in school and life. Are these strategies still in use?

I assisted California Department of Education administrators with compliance reviews for these funds. Students could tell or show us on a school map – where the drugs were being used/sold, kids were bullied and harassed, and how they avoided being observed even if the school had a Resource Officer. Some Resource Officers even had golf carts so they could get around faster.

One armed guard, who would be somewhere on school property, would not get to an active shooter within the ridiculously short time it takes discharge his weapon – even if he did have a golf cart!

The NRA and others say we need armed guards on our children’s campuses. How many teachers or programs will be cut to pay that salary? Schools can’t afford the music, arts programs - how will schools finance this salary? Shall the PTA do bake sales or the kids give up going to band competitions to bring armed guards on their campuses?

Why are we putting this problem on the backs of the schools? Why aren’t law makers standing up for the children of their constituents? It is time to participate and support the students who are making a difference. Will we follow their lead and stop being bystanders?

Lorraine Waldau


Cat’s death unnecessary

An unnecessary tragedy occurred recently. My neighbor's beautiful, white, silky-haired lady cat was killed by a brindle pit bull.

The cat would come to the back gate where she and my neutered black tuxedo cat would stare at each other. Each got some cat food. They could share a meal.

I heard the cat scream but when I got to the gate, the dog had the cat firmly in her jaws and would not let got until I finally hit the dog in a spot that made it let go. Then it ran off.

Guadalupe police and County Animal Control searched and found the dog, which will be impounded.

As sick as I am over this incident, I hope the dog can be spared. When you take on a pet, care for it: register, collar, tags, spay/neuter and keep it safe.

Shirley Boydstun



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