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Tuesday January 31st, 2023 5:51PM

Editorial Roundup: Georgia

By The Associated Press

Brunswick News. November 15, 2022.

Editorial: Election officials have no shortage of problems work on

If veteran and newly elected state legislators are looking for measures to champion that would improve the quality of life and the safety of the people they represent, there are a number of ideas they might consider. Shore up whatever needs to be strengthened to prevent more hospitals from going under, beef up penalties for violent crimes and take whatever next steps are necessary to raise Georgia’s record on mental health services from the gutter.

COVID-19 is not the only problem thrashing hospitals. Costs are spiraling out of control from every direction. It’s costing them a large fortune just to keep nurses on staff, and that’s even if they can find them to hire them, a situation likely to get worse.

Add the always rising costs of medical supplies and technology to the list, and it is surprising that more have not shuttered and bolted their doors. The fact that more patients are either unable to pay for services rendered or are struggling to pay only compounds the difficulty of trying to stay afloat.

Rural hospitals have not been the only ones to close in Georgia. The most recent hospital to shut down was Wellstar Health System’s Atlanta Medical Center in Atlanta, a Level 1 trauma center.

Any plan that would alleviate some of the stress on the health care system would be worth consideration.

Crimes of violence, much of it driven by the increasing aggressiveness of gangs and lack of police, are becoming a bigger issue even in smaller communities. Oftentimes the culprits are repeat offenders. This needs to be addressed. Felons who refuse to live peaceably among others should not be allowed to freely roam the streets.

Penalties for stalking others, as well as the way these cases are handled, ought to be a lot stiffer too. Women should not have to worry being terrorized by a spurned co-worker or by someone from a former relationship.

Legislators during this year’s session of the Georgia General Assembly did a lot to begin tackling the state’s dismal record on mental health services. But it is far too early to stick this issue in the pile of “completed tasks.” State House and Senate members should demand a full report on what progress has been made to determine what might require booster funds or actions.

Their attention to mental health should not stop there, however. Georgia has a long way to go to correct what has been ignored for decades.

___

Valdosta Daily Times. November 12, 2022.

Editorial: Respect our teachers

Teachers across Georgia are joining a lawsuit challenging the state’s so-called “divisive concepts” law targeting public schools.

We should respect our teachers and realize no one knows their jobs better than they do.

Educators, not legislators, should decide what happens in the classroom.

While parents are the experts when it comes to raising their own children, teachers are the experts when it comes to academic instruction.

HB 1084, signed by Gov. Brian Kemp on April 28, defines divisive concepts as teaching “one race is inherently superior to another race; the United States of America is fundamentally racist; and an individual, by virtue of his or her race, is inherently or consciously racist or oppressive toward individuals of other races.”

But teachers across the state are saying it is not as simple as it sounds or as lawmakers seem to think. The law has resulted in a lot of confusion and is making their jobs more and more difficult.

The law was an overreaction, a solution looking for a problem and more a matter of political posturing than a matter of good public policy. Lawmakers grandstanded with righteous indignation over the teaching of Critical Race Theory when, in fact, no public elementary, middle or high school in the state of Georgia includes CRT in its curriculum.

It is no wonder that school systems across the state are losing teachers and having trouble filling open teaching positions.

We sympathize with one of the state’s high school history teachers, Jeff Corkill, when he said, “Like many educators in Georgia, I can’t figure out what I can or can’t teach under the law, and my school district’s administrators don’t seem to understand the law’s prohibitions either.”

That is not an indictment of the ability of teachers and administrators to understand plain English, it is an indictment of the law itself and just how garbled and poorly defined it is.

Teachers are afraid to even talk about slavery, Black history or the Civil Rights Movement. These topics are not what has been called Critical Race Theory. In fact, these things are what we all used to just call American history.

It remains to be seen what will happen with this lawsuit but we encourage the General Assembly to respect Georgia teachers and revisit the “divisive concept laws” in the upcoming legislative session. Passing commonsense laws is far more preferable to having to settle lawsuits.

Teachers in the classroom do not have some politically driven agenda but simply want to educate our children with reliable, factual information.

Why would any parent, any lawmaker or any one of us want anything less?

Teachers do not want to indoctrinate. They want to stimulate young minds and educate our future leaders.

___

Dalton Daily Citizen. November 15, 2022.

Editorial: Be cautious in the kitchen while preparing your Thanksgiving feast

On the night before Thanksgiving and the day of, many of our kitchens could double as disaster areas.

Dirtied pots and pans stacked in the sink. Mixing bowls covered in food. Flakes of pumpkin pie crust on the floor. Preparing a Thanksgiving feast for family and friends is a dirty job.

While you are busy cooking the turkey, dressing, sides and desserts that are part of your Thanksgiving tradition, it’s important not to get sidetracked. Be mindful to be extra cautious while in the kitchen, as Thanksgiving is recognized as the peak day for home cooking fires.

“I am immensely thankful for our firefighters and first responders,” said John F. King, Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner. “However, we’d prefer if Georgians didn’t have to call on these emergency officials this Thanksgiving, so please follow these simple fire safety tips as you prepare your family feast.”

• Never deep-fry a frozen turkey. Ice turns to steam when a frozen turkey is dropped into hot oil, and the rapidly expanding steam can cause the oil to boil over.

• Don’t forget to set a timer while you cook.

• Keep combustibles like towels and rags away from your cooking space.

• If a pan catches fire, cover it with a lid and turn off the burner. Water makes a grease fire worse, so consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen year-round.

• Turn pot handles inward to prevent an accident and ensure your children cannot grab them.

• Wear tight-fitting sleeves when you cook so that loose clothing does not contact a burner and catch on fire. If clothing does catch fire, don’t forget the life-saving adage of “stop, drop and roll.”

• Ensure that you have a working smoke alarm and change the batteries if you have not done so in six months.

END

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