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 OPINION PAGE - OCTOBER 27, 1999 - DANIELSVILLE, GA

Column
By Adam Fouche
The Madison County Journal
October 27, 1999

Some tips for Halloween
Having been around for a little while (not as long as most of you though), I've been through several Halloweens. And I have participated in each of them in some way or another.
I have had both good and bad experiences on Halloween. Because of my experiences, I have picked up some do's and don't's for October 31. I am going to share some tips with you today, in the hopes you will have an enjoyable Halloween:
·Give candy. I know there is some nutrition nut out there who will inevitably give an apple to trick-or-treaters. Don't. These guys are kids. They want candy. Besides, they already have a whole bag of candy, so why not throw a few more pieces in there. I know I always hated getting apples or oranges. In fact, if you are a trick-or-treater and someone gives you a fruit, give it back. If everyone does it, they will be unhappy because they spent all that money on fruit that no one wants. Then next year they will give you candy. And, no, those little peanut butter things in orange and black wrappers do not count as candy.
·Dress up. Please, please don't go around trick-or-treating without a costume. It isn't funny. I won't give you any candy and neither should anyone else. In fact, maybe you should get all the apples for not dressing up. And adults, dress up too. It is fun and I promise you will like it.
·Wear a costume to school. One of the funnest Halloweens I had was during high school when I wore my costume to school. A few friends and I dressed up like some guys from the '70s. People liked it and it was fun. You are never too old to dress up. I'm dressing up this Halloween. If you run into me, wave and say hello. That way I can pretend I don't see you and walk away very fast so as not to embarrass myself.
·Scare people. If you are giving out candy at your house, scare people. I suggest hiding in the bushes or behind the corner of your house. A good fright is never bad. But watch who you scare. If they are bigger than you (or have parents bigger than you) or are carrying any weapons (fake or real, you can't tell the difference in the dark), then don't scare them. You might get hurt. Disclaimer: I will not be held responsible for any accidents, not even my own.
·Make fake dead people. After I stopped trick-or-treating, I made fake dead people to put on our porch. It was fun. Some people were too scared to come to the house. I used to hide in the bushes and watch them. You can also lay yourself out on the porch like a dead person and follow people with your eyes. Don't speak or move, just follow them with your eyes. I promise they will get scared.
·Stay away from rain. Trick-or-treating in the rain is not good. Don't do it. If it is raining this Halloween, then stay home. You can turn off your porch light and eat all the candy you were going to give out to people. Note to kids: Make your parents buy lots of good candy just in case you have to stay home and eat all of it.
Whatever you do this Halloween, stay safe. Carry a flashlight and pay attention to cars on the street. And if you do get an apple, don't eat it. It's probably not safe anyway.
Adam Fouche is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.

Column
By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
October 27, 1999

Frankly Speaking

Let's keep school
control local
It appears to me that we need a new class in our public schools. We need to teach word definitions.
For example, define the word "public," as in "public schools." The word "public" means "the people." Thus our public schools belong to we the people. They do not belong to the federal government, the state government or even the local board of education. They belong to all of us.
Because our public schools belong to the people of our community, we have a right and responsibility to know everything that is going on in our school system. A few facts, such as juvenile records and personal records of students are private, but everything else, from the salary paid to the janitor to the educational level of board members, should be available to any community member who asks for information.
On the other hand, one group of people who have no reason to know about or interfere with our schools is the federal government. The U.S. Constitution does not give the federal government any role in education, and according to the 10th Amendment, anything not specifically assigned to the federal government is reserved to the states or to the people.
We do not need to have a federal bureaucrat inquiring about our schools, developing policy for our teachers, writing standard tests for our students, or even sending money to our schools for any reason.
I am especially bugged about federal spending on education. After all, there is no such thing as government money. It all comes from our pockets. Why should the federal government take money from us, use 70 percent of it to support a massive bureaucracy, then send the rest back to us with more strings than a puppet?
Our public schools belong to the community. They are of extreme importance to us. They train our future leaders, ministers, businessmen, mechanics and the next generation of teachers. The future shape of our community will be determined by what our children learn in our public schools. Our citizens should have full knowledge of our school system. They should take advantage of every opportunity to influence education policy in our community.
Federal bureaucrats should NOT be part of our educational system. The last thing we need is a nationally uniform school system. We need free-thinking, creative, students who are free to follow their dreams to whatever future appeals to them. Federal interference can only hamper this process.
We need more local involvement in our school system. Recent measures by the board of education to make it easy for us to obtain school records is a good start, but they need to explore more ways to involve the public in their decisions.
We do not need federal bureaucrats telling us how to educate our children. The U.S. Department of Education should be abolished, and the tax savings returned to us. Our public schools are the future of our community. Lets keep them local.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal.



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