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LETTERS to the Editor

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CHICORA A WELCOME SUCCESS

It was wonderful to see Chicora Elementary School featured in your October 11 issue. We've been fortunate to partner with the school and its dedicated principal, Camille Lee, over the last two years and have seen firsthand some of the great things going on in the school. For instance, during a "Clean Cities Sweep" project around the exterior of the school in April, teachers and children came out to join a team of our employees to landscape, remove trash, and help beautify their school.

They are making tremendous strides, as evidenced by the National School Change Award they received this year. This is the first time a South Carolina school has received this honor.

We'll continue to partner with Chicora in the future, and are very happy the school is getting the local and national attention it deserves. Kudos for such a positive story about our community.

Allison Skipper
South Carolina State Ports Authority

CHILD IN A MAN'S WORLD

I am writing this letter as a concerned citizen and parent. The South Carolina Supreme Court has denied an emergency motion requesting a stay for Chris Pittman to remain in a juvenile facility until his appeal is decided. Governor Sanford has said there is nothing he can do to grant clemency or an order that Chris be held in his present juvenile facility until his appeal is over.

Our courts, elected officials and citizens, seem to be saying that 16- and 17-year-old children need to be protected from adult pedophiles and predators (the Mark Foley outrage) but on the other hand, when a child this age commits a crime they are thrown in with these exact people. We are told they can handle it, and the attitude seems to be that it is part of their punishment; that somehow they deserve it. It is very hypocritical. Statistics show that juveniles held in adult prisons are 5 times more likely as adults to be raped, twice as likely to be beaten and suicide rates go up significantly. I know Chris Pittman personally; he is not a danger to society, but adult prison is a danger to Chris Pittman. Forcing a teenager like Chris, non-aggressive with no prior criminal record, into an adult prison to survive among hardened criminals is indecent and inhumane, yet we are told no one can stop it. Governor Sanford said Chris should be treated like any other juvenile prisoner.

Maybe this is not the way any juvenile prisoner should be treated. I wish for once our elected officials and courts would stop passing the buck, stop being so hypocritical and attempt to do the right thing for all the children.

Pamela Kulig
St. Charles, Illinois

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