Letters, Feb. 3, 2016 

What's Being Done to Stop Bullying?

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What's Being Done to Stop Bullying?
When I was growing up in the public school system, nothing was tolerated. When something happened between the children, it was dealt with by the staff. The punishment was stern and you learned your lesson.

Today, it is OK for children to emotionally, physically and mentally abuse other children, mine being two of them. I have spent more time in the principal's office as an adult than I ever did as a child. I advocate for my children, I speak professionally, I speak emotionally. I have yelled, and I have even cried when it got really bad.

My child attempted suicide at the age of 10 because the abuse got so bad at school. She was kicked in the face, her glasses were broken; she was pinched and she had her hair pulled. It wasn't until her failed attempt at suicide that one of her bullies was suspended.

I don't think the school system handles bullying with stern discipline. It is not OK that school-system employees and the principal would rather treat students as friends instead of being the disciplinary adults.

So I ask: Who is going to protect my children when the bullies have learned it is OK to be a bully, when I am not there to wrap them tightly in a bubble to make sure they are unharmed on a given school day? Who?

The public reached out to help Mark Ryan and Kreg Christensen throw a community event called Ogden FreeVent on Aug. 15, 2015, to raise awareness of bullying and suicide on behalf of my child and another who had taken his life because he was bullied.

If the community can come together to help a child, why can't a school help the children it is responsible for?

Today, I picked up my child from the school office after she was in tears due to an issue with a bully. My daughter was sitting alone as the school counselor stood 15 feet away doing nothing and not helping my daughter.

I moved to the Weber School District to give my children a better education, and instead, I send them into a war zone every day just so they can get an education.
Melissa Fowers
South Ogden

You Should Hunt
I am against personal-carry weapons ["Biting the Bullet," Jan. 14, City Weekly]. In the hands of the untrained, undisciplined masses, personal-carry weapons can only be a powder keg near an open flame.

I cannot disprove the arguments for owning a firearm for personal protection. They are largely sound arguments, as are the arguments against it.

Growing up a Montanan, I learned an old way of thinking about guns. They are dangerous tools for a deadly trade. My family traditionally uses guns for hunting. It's an incredibly peaceful experience, most of the time—a long, quiet walk in the mountains, alone, with nothing but your wandering thoughts for company. We have a saying, "It is all fun and games until you shoot something. Then, it's a lot of work."

I own a couple modest rifles, weapons that I practice with to make sure I am good enough for the occasion when I use one.

Listen carefully to veterans. It is a lot of work to keep up such a deadly skill, and to carry in public is an enormous responsibility and commitment.

Perhaps, before making a decision about carrying, hunt. The hike, I find, gives me clarity on what is more and less important. The weight of a rifle over your shoulder along with the grave, deadly intent to use it will leave an impression on you before carrying in society.

More important than any training or loathsome necessity, it is real, and time will be on your side when the moment to act is at hand. Where micro seconds count in combat, with hunting, you have minutes, sometimes hours—time to take full stock of your decision, the life in your hands, and the life around you.

Hunting gives you the luxury to be sure of everything and not rush to make the decision right for you. And if your long walk with a gun ends in a hunt, you will know yourself better.

Before making any decision whether to carry a gun, you need that experience to know yourself.
Jay Lacy
Salt Lake City

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