It’s about the students

After reading the recent letters opposing the Reynolds high school stadium, I’m done sitting on the sidelines. This facility is about giving students equal access to athletics and after-school activities. It’s a voice for every student and family being shut out because their teams practice and play miles away from campus. If you don’t have transportation, you don’t participate.

And for those who perceive Reynolds as a school of privilege — here are the facts. 47.5 percent of Reynold’s 1,733 students qualify for free and reduced-price lunch — that’s 823 students — more than the total enrollment of several area schools. The strength of the student community at Reynolds is its diversity from socioeconomic backgrounds to talents and interests.

I don’t doubt this community supports access to athletics. We’ve provided wonderful on-campus stadiums including recent renovations at Mount Tabor and Glenn. But all that’s positive about athletics and Friday night lights is being twisted into a negative ball of division when it comes to Reynolds.

What’s lost in the torrent of contention are the students. As the adults debate future stadium parking, we’ve got hundreds of Reynolds students on the road today getting to practice and “home” games. We’ve got young people changing in cars because their practice sites don’t have locker rooms or water fountains or bathrooms or access to trainers for medical care. Put me in the game because every student should have an accessible and safe place to be on team regardless of where they go to school.

Laura Burrows

Winston-Salem

No more restrictions

Please spare me the histrionics. The people who are upset about unrestricted third-trimester abortions are the same people who are upset about first-trimester abortions to save the lives of the mother or as the result of incest or rape. There is no reason for any abortion that would ever satisfy them. They’ve just found the perfect scapegoats — women undergoing medical procedures that they think they’ll never have to consider themselves.

Third-trimester abortions should not be restricted. They’re extremely rare and only occur as the result of extreme medical circumstances. No woman decides on a whim to have an abortion right before or during labor. The only reason the New York law was passed, and others are being considered, is because civil libertarians are sick and tired of the “death by a thousand cuts” approach of anti-choice legislators, tweaking here and there and everywhere possible to make abortions more difficult to obtain, more expensive and more humiliating. Civil rights supporters said, “Enough. Let’s get back to reality.” Theirs was a response to mean-spirited, hypocritical moralists trying to force their will on other people.

On any other subject, conservatives would love to do away with unnecessary restrictions. It’s practically their motto. It’s only when it comes to women making the most important and painful decisions of their lives that conservatives decide they’d better get involved and impose restriction after restriction. Their supposed moral concerns are, in reality, a harmful exploitation of vulnerable women.

April Reaves

Winston-Salem

Years of service

Why are some people calling for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to resign based on a 30-year-old photograph (“Virginia governor ponders resignation,” Feb. 5)?

I recognize that there is, appropriately, a different standard for public servants than other jobs. (An uncaught serial rapist may be an excellent tax accountant, but a serial rapist making criminal justice policy is a different matter.) But is anyone really expecting our public servants to be perfect throughout their lives?

Northam’s policies and actions in public life seem far from racist, so why are we so willing to throw away years of accountable service for a 30-year-old photograph?

Coming to terms with our history means dealing with the complexity of history, instead of pretending that only people who have a “perfect” record in all areas can serve. Instead of spending our time on this story, why not more attention to the complex policy issues that will really affect our goals for justice and equal rights?

Sheila Roher

Winston-Salem

Please submit letters online, with full name, address and telephone number, to Letters@wsjournal.com or mail letters to: The Readers’ Forum, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Letters are subject to editing and are limited to 250 words. For more guidelines and advice on writing letters, go to journalnow.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/

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