3/7 Letters to the editor

Principal squelching students’ rights
As a student at Clovis High School, I feel the student body has been stifled concerning our freedom of speech.

A protest planned by students was stopped by Principal Jody Balch, who made threats of suspension and expulsion.

Many students would have attended the protest aimed at a planned schedule change if the threats had not been made.

For the students here at Clovis, our freedoms are extremely important to us, and those freedoms have been wronged by our school administration.

The administration’s only substantial reason for returning to the traditional schedule was because student grades have not improved under the current schedule. Even this reason has no strong grounds. By changing the schedule back to traditional, the school will be forced to take away many popular classes due to lack of funding. It seems to me the school administration’s poor budget planning is now being taken out on the students.

The administration needs to open its eyes and see that its ideas, plans and decisions concerning the schedule change are being greatly opposed by many citizens of Clovis.

This whole ordeal was started by one person and has now spread into an epidemic that has gone beyond whether or not the schedule should be changed, to whether or not Principal Balch has rejected the students’ right to express their feelings concerning the schedule change.

Victoria Rae Bryant
Clovis

Throwing out bottled water wasteful
Approximately 2 percent to 3 percent of all water on Earth is suitable for producing our drinking water. From 1977 to 2004, we have gone from 389 million gallons of bottled water per year to almost 7 billion.

And yet we are sending billions of bottles to our landfills with varying amounts of water still in them. Some bottles are absolutely full, their seals unbroken. Cases of water have been found thrown away.

Our landfills are already accumulating huge amounts of water that can’t be recovered. Clovis has five acres of active or open landfill. One inch of rain over this exposed surface is equal to 135,770 gallons of trapped, unusable water. Multiply this by every landfill in the world; we have a problem.

Throwing our bottled water on top of this is insane. Even losing 1 percent of the bottled water produced in 2004 equates to 70 million gallons of water gone. This does not include all other forms of canned or bottled products containing more than 98 percent water.

Each year more bottled water will be produced. Likewise, more will be wasted. We need to educate ourselves. There are consequences for convenience. If you buy it, drink it.

Mike Hess
Clovis

Family’s generosity saved lives
If more people were as generous as Velma Valdez (“In death, teen gave life,” Thursday’s CNJ), we wouldn’t have more than 6,000 Americans dying every year waiting for organ transplants.

Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year.

There is a simple solution to the organ shortage: Give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system more fair. About 60 percent of the organs transplanted in the United States go to people who haven’t agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. For information about our organization, go to our Web site:
www.lifesharers.org

David J. Undis
LifeSharers executive director
Nashville, Tenn.