Upset by school board member comments
I am writing in response to the article regarding education and the hiring practices of teachers in the SVSU for open positions.
I found Mr. Swierad’s comments offensive: He believes that young candidates who fall lower on the pay scale should be the first considered; if a candidate cannot be found with all of the skills then a candidate should be hired on a condition they obtain those skills.
In an age of "isms," here we have just one more -- "experienceism." I understand, fully, the economic times we live in, and perhaps because of this, I would fervently hope the school board members look well beyond the almighty dollar. How well is the candidate equipped to deal with poverty more rampant than in recent history, the highest pregnancy rate in our county in the state; death, war, apathy, learning disabilities, widespread drug use. Are these courses listed on any resume? The obvious answer to the question: Who is most able to educate the future of America/Vermont/Bennington and the surrounding area, should have nothing to do with youth or a pay scale! It should have to do with qualifications both outwardly as well as implicitly.
Our children are facing issues that none of us have needed to manage before, to the degree and multiplicity with which society expects, and whether one is at the bottom, top or middle of any pay scale will not determine who or what skill set brings the best to the education offered. It is integrity, honesty, and perseverance and a whole host of other attributes that will make the difference for all of the children in our school systems. In my book, that is priceless!!
LORI S. NICOL
Bennington Mental health care is vital
I am now retired but was a practicing clinical social worker for 30 years. Regarding what services should be included in Green Mountain Care, mental health services are an essential part.
These services should be encouraged because they not only increase emotional health but they also foster physical health: mental health issues are often are the seeds of bad self care and chronic illnesses, as well as affecting others.
Just imagine the infant whose mother has a post-partum depression. Being proactive about treating the mother significantly effects the development of the infant and the whole family.
In addition, starting from the point of diagnosis of significant physical health problems, for instance cancer, many people need mental health treatment to cope, follow through on treatment and make recommended life changes. Collaboration between primary care physicians and psychotherapists is necessary and should make this a priority rather than an afterthought.
Also in the current system insurance often has high co-pays that create a big barrier especially for mental health visits that may occur weekly for a period of time. Our new system has the potential to be much better than the one we now have.
Of course the need for mental health care within Green Mountain Care should not exclude other types of care such as dental and vision care. It’s all interconnected and necessary.