CARS HOMES JOBS

Story shined light on impact of bullying

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
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Story shined light on impact of bullying

The May 13 Gazette headline, "Not just another Schenectady High School story," was by far one of the best articles you have published.

It highlights the pleasure that a somewhat handicapped Nalini Persaud received from her peers by them electing her their prom queen after she suffered five years of ridicule, humiliation and being generally unwelcome by them. Hopefully this will be a life-changing experience for Nalini.

But just as important, hopefully it's a life-changing wake-up call for her peers, who spent the past five years bullying her or standing by doing little or nothing to stop those who did.

I have witnessed firsthand the horrific impact and long-term effects of bullying by fellow students on a family member. This impact remains 15 years later and most likely will last for his lifetime.

Yes, I agree with principal Diane Willkinson's comment that this story brings tears to her eyes. Yes, it did to me. More important, hopefully it will give her and the other people in these positions of influence the motivation and actions to change this bullying environment, which appears to remain prevalent in all levels of our public school systems.

Bill Johnsen

Glenville

Cyclist won't share road with writer

I was incredulous after having read Mr. Mickey Marcella's May 14 letter ["The rules for motorists apply to bicyclists, too"]. His tone resonates clearly through it all. He is clearly one driver who has no tolerance for bicyclists like myself.

I have been biking the roads of Saratoga, surrounding counties and most of the 50 states, as well as Europe, for 43 years. I have rolled up a total mileage of over 100,000 miles. Each ride, without doubt, I have met with one idiot who clearly wants to harm me. On one occasion, I had to take shelter in a State Police substation to avoid bodily harm. Mr. Marcella evokes the same meanness I have experienced many times.

In addition to that, he has some outrageous ideas. One he voiced is that bicyclists move along at 55 mph. Is he referring to Harleys or bicyclists with this assertion? Another is his suggestion that a motorist, upon meeting a group of two-wheelers on the road, choose one of three options: drive off the road, veer into oncoming traffic or plow into the riders. He forgot to mention the most important one, and that is to apply his brakes to avoid an accident.

This man is devoid of all compassion, which is why I have chosen to ride bike paths only so to avoid this angry man who seems determined to hurt someone. If I ever get back onto the road, rest assured, Mr. Marcella, I will give the roads in and around Stillwater a wide berth to avoid the likes of you.

Paul Poetto

Burnt Hills

Are there really any places kids are safe?

I agree with Sean Mearns' May 9 letter to The Gazette in which he says that a certain editorial writer with a "perverse sense of humor" is "unfit for parenthood." Absolutely. Mr. Mearns' letter concerns a mother who left her child unattended in her car while she went into a library to retrieve her cellphone. She'd covered the child with a blanket. She was gone for three minutes. Mr. Mearns thinks she cared more for her phone than she did for her child. I don't know what to say about that. I hate my cellphone. The keypad keeps locking up on me. Still, it gives me less trouble than my older child.

That mother undoubtedly thought no harm would come to her child during that brief period. The fact that none did is irrelevant. We must obsess over what might have happened to "it." That's how Mr. Mearns refers to the child in question: It.

He says it could easily have been abducted. The car could have been stolen with the child in it. I'll add that the child might have had a severe allergic reaction to that blanket or been smothered under it. Furthermore, there was ample time for aliens to land their ship right on the hood of that vehicle. Also, since the circus was in town, the threat of charging elephants shouldn't be discounted.

If that mother had taken the child into the library with her, all would have been well, unless she slipped on an icy patch along the way, lost her balance and dropped it on its head. Or it was snatched from her arms by a burly stranger or a cadre of little green men. Or a bomb had been planted in the library earlier, going off just as the mother re-entered, blowing her and it to smithereens! Or a crazed gunman had been lurking among those times.

But even though the child escaped unharmed from the foregoing dire possibilities, we should still consider how much its welfare was endangered by its mother pulling out of that parking lot into traffic. After all, on any given day, there are certainly more motor vehicle accidents than abductions from library environs. I think we should arrest any parent who transports a child thusly.

I wish I could say that the safety of the child would be ensured if it were kept home always. Alas, I have endless visions of potential catastrophes there as well. House fire, masked intruder, a new strain of bubonic plague and so on.

The only solution, of course, is to outlaw children altogether, not just the its, but also the hims and the hers. If there were no children, there would be no cause to worry over what might befall them. The doomsayers could relax. Maybe even get a life.

Elaine Pastore

Schenectady

Thanks to students for gesture at prom

What a nice story in the May 13 Gazette about the Schenectady High School prom night where Nalini Peraud was crowned queen and Felix Rodriguez was crowned king.

The high school students should be very proud of themselves. This just proves there is hope in our country and the world, with such nice kids out of Schenectady.

Thank you, students.

Mary Ann Margiotta

Rotterdam Junction

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