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Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013: Guns, Chris Busby and iPads in schools


Tech tools used properly

It is unfortunate that Daniel Bayerdorffer did not contact me directly to discuss the concerns he brought up in his Dec. 26 letter to the editor. We firmly enforce that all Foxcroft Academy’s computers, iPads, network and Internet services are provided for educational purposes and research consistent with Foxcroft Academy’s educational mission, curriculum and instructional goals.

With this in mind, games and other noneducational iPad uses are not allowed during school, and consequences are issued to students if they are found to be in violation.

Due diligence absolutely took place with a great deal of research and on-site support from Apple engineers before starting the iPad program, and that continues to this day.

Students can lose the ability to use their iPad and will still have the ability to complete assignments. IPad use is, and can be, restricted to an in-class-only activity with teacher supervision.

Both the student and his or her parent must sign the school’s acknowledgement form before the iPads are allowed to go home.

Informational sessions for parents happen before deployment, and resources are made available to parents who could not attend.

Many of the items that were mentioned in Bayerdorffer’s letter are not solutions as they have been thoroughly investigated.

Certainly, “nothing in the computer world is bulletproof.” It is essential that the academy and parents work together to ensure that tools for the 21st century are used properly, productively and safely.

Arnold Shorey

Head of School, Foxcroft Academy

Dover Foxcroft

Hunting vs. killing rounds

This letter is in response to V. Paul Reynolds’ Jan. 2 OpEd, “ The clamor for gun control.” In this column, Reynolds castigates Bill O’Reilly for expressing that it may be necessary to banish assault weapons as a result of the murder of 20 Newtown children.

Reynolds states that the only difference between an “assault weapon [such as the Bushmaster AR-15] and my Remington 1100 semi–automatic shotgun is the way it looks.”

Remington 1100s, have a tubular cartridge capacity of five rounds, and, if used for duck hunting, the tube, by law, must be plugged for three cartridges. Reloading the 1100 must be done one cartridge at a time.

The Bushmaster AR-15 has a standard magazine capacity of 30 cartridges or a 100 cartridge drum magazine. Reloading the AR-15 takes a matter of seconds.

Both firearms can be fired as fast as the operator can pull the trigger. The AR-15 can fire 100 times, while the 1100 probably can fire five times. The AR-15 cartridge is so much more efficient and damaging as a consequence of bullet velocity and composition.

The 1100 is for hunting, and the AR-15 is for killing people. The assertion that there is no difference between them is more than just pure poppycock.

The question which should be answered is why a shooter hunting ducks is limited by law to using a firearm with a three-round capacity, while a shooter hunting school children can use guns that have capacities of 30 to 100 rounds.

Stephen Melchiskey


Unbalanced column

In his column on Jan. 3, “ When a pawnbroker takes on anti-abortion activists,” Chris Busby appears to be using Mike Fink’s profane anger toward abortion protesters as a way of continuing his own personal attack against people practicing their faith, specifically Christians.

The post is from one side only, which is enormously helpful in wielding the broad brush of outrage. It follows another bizarre post he wrote on Nov. 8 called, “Marriage Equality: Too little too late for many.” In that post, Busby went off about the “bigoted dogma” devotees that were somehow kept at bay at Mercy Hospital, so that proper health care could be given to a homosexual man.

It was an outright attack on the Catholic church. Of course, this is the same church that cares for the sick, lonely and poor in all corners of the world, even under the real threat of harm.

It is not great to have the newspaper to which I have long subscribed become a platform for attacks against life, the family and the church that most vigorously defends those blessings.

It’s writers trying to outdo each other in bashing institutions that stand in the way of utopia, which one guesses is a feminist-driven, secular society that “evolves” through a process of moral relativism.

Donald Mendell


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