I hear so much negative news about Chief of Police Robert Perales. Anyone got anything nice to say?
I do. I lived in Mabton for a long while. When Police Chief Almeida retired the gangs thought they could run the streets and tag the walls of the Mabton community and break into people's homes and cars. They ran the streets and did as they pleased.
Perales came in with full force and no tolerance for gangs. You soon started to notice the difference.
Thank you Chief of Police Perales. Keep up the good work.
/s/ Lynda De La Rosa
What an honor and privilege it is to live in a community such as this!
We just want to thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts for all the hard work and generosity that was show in preparation for and during our "Celebration of Life" for Bert Abrams last Saturday night at the Princess Theater in Prosser.
We could fill up this whole page with the names of contributors to this event but you know, we know and most importantly God knows who you are.
Bert was a "good and faithful servant," and your kindness and big-heartedness has more than proved that.
May we honor Bert's memory by continuing to do good for others, just as she would have done.
Thank you and blessings to you all.
/s/ Friends of Bert @ DK Bain Real Estate, Inc.
Co-valedictorian story lacking important details
The June 4 article by John Fannin on Sunnyside High School's decision to not allow co-valedictorian Matt Barr to walk at graduation was a one-sided piece of journalism. The school district's legal requirements, which restrict them from presenting their side of the story, should not have led to an absence of the complete truth.
I've considered Matt a friend for years, but in all my time at Sunnyside High School I have only seen our administration act in a professional manner, and they deserve to be defended. It's sad to see that no time was taken to ask students just as close to the story for information on the events.
As for the class scheduling issue, no student in either the class of 2007 or 2008 took pre-calculus during their sophomore year at SHS. Mr. Hart did not apply any restriction unfairly in that case.
As for the Washington Scholar award, the administration makes the call. End of story. It should be evident that titles and accolades are only as valuable as they are treated. The principles of them are violated if they are flaunted (or thrown) around to somehow show status.
As for the hat, Matt was told not to wear his silver graduation cap before baccalaureate. The fact that he wore it that night (at a non-school event) has no bearing on the decision. Other students made apparel requests that were turned down. It isn't necessary for any student to wear non-standard graduation attire.
One interesting detail of the events is that on the morning of graduation, a few of the top students in the class were going to have a meeting with the administration to request that they crack down on Matt's behavior. We were honestly concerned and clearly the administration's worries were warranted.
Most importantly, Mr. Hart's threats to remove Matt if he changed his speech were completely justified (beyond the fact that that is what they tell speakers every year). The reason for the increased concern was that Matt told several students, including myself, that his plans for his speech were to say "F" off and walk off. The administration was fully aware that letting him speak was a risk.
There are many more details to this story but I hope it's clear that the "thrown under the school bus," if you will, treatment given to the SHS administration is riddled with omissions of important details.
It's sad that Matt didn't graduate with us, and that it ruined a special event for his family. But it's better that the event is ruined for one student if it eliminates the strong possibility that he would ruin it for all others.
Hopefully, we can move on and not let this event overshadow the numerous successes of the evening.
/s/ Jonas Linde, 2008 SHS graduate
Freedom of speech
Concerning the Matt Barr story, I find it very upsetting that Matt was not allowed to attend HIS graduation and give his speech!
It's not freedom of speech if he is told that "If he changed his speech by one line it would have him ARRESTED and taken away in front of 3,000 people."
I will tell you this, that Mr. Hart better start looking for other employment opportunities as this has the makings of community uproar all over it.
Good luck, Matt. Your record speaks for itself.
/s/ Karen Tucker, Sunnyside