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The Readers’ Forum

The Readers' Forum: School board responsibilities

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Out of reach?

Regarding the recent rather spooky comments offered by some members of Congress as to the Social Security and Medicare programs, it is my thinking that the monies held by the U.S. Treasury that are earmarked for Social Security and Medicare are retained in special federal accounts that are absolutely, categorically out of the reach of any and all Congress members.

So, the only way to change these programs would be to amend the way that they are administered as to future functionality. Things such as the specified retirement age, the percent of the wages going to each of these via payroll taxes, the ceiling that these payroll taxes apply to ... These items are changeable for future recipients of Social Security and Medicare.

Bringing an end to these programs would seem to be unimaginable.

However, the current funds held by the U.S. Treasury for these two programs should be in no danger of being usurped by those in Congress.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

John Kemp

Clemmons

School board responsibilities

After elections, there is often a lack of attention given to the decisions made by elected officials. This is especially true about school boards. However, the most important part of the election is the aftermath and the decisions being made by our elected officials. School boards collectively represent students, and effective school board members should prioritize student achievement along with their well-being. As a community, it is our responsibility to be involved and have the resources available to make sure local schools are meeting these priorities.

Board members are elected to take part in the decision-making process, but the community should play a primary role in helping make sure those decisions are in the best interest of all children. By actions such as attending school board meetings, holding elected officials accountable and advocating for students, so much can be gained.

As a former student in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools district, I know the importance of these elections and their effect on students. Let us rise to the occasion and make sure our students are receiving the best education they deserve. Invest your time and get to know the people serving on the school board. At the end of the day, they hold a big responsibility to ensure the proper education for our present students and future generations.

Vanessa Ureña-Hernandez

Winston-Salem

The five W’s

Who? What? When? Where? Why? These are questions I was taught in my high school journalism class to ask in order to effectively write an informative news article. Our teacher then submitted what she considered outstanding articles to our county’s small weekly newspaper for publishing. I very much enjoyed the process and waited with delightful anticipation for the week I could see an article of mine being chosen for publication. I wanted to be a journalist.

At my local community college, I learned the history of “yellow journalism” and our propensity for selective consumption of sensationalist mass media. I later chose another path when I decided my own personal right to privacy was more important to me than the people’s right to know, but that’s a discussion for another outlet.

We now have innumerable digital media outlets that were unimaginable to me back in my high school level journalism class. Marketers exploit audiences for virtually all interests, so I suggest the writer of the Nov. 5 letter “Journalistic bias” be selective of what media he chooses for consumption, taking even more care in what he chooses as reputable and responsible news reporting. He should make those choices based on the five W’s of responsible journalism. Anything else he chooses should be based on his own level of tolerance for outlets catering to a “particular point of view,” as he puts it.

I’m sure the Journal appreciates his choosing to read this news medium.

Angie Mendez

Winston Salem

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