YHS guidance counselor
Although not due to budget cuts, but to retirement, Yosemite High School is losing a real assist at the end of this school year - guidance counselor Stephanie Samuels.
In light of the school tragedies in the last years and the current voices demanding more mental health measures and other forms of help for students, it’s too bad that Yosemite High will lose Ms. Samuels, a position they may or may not replace.
Guidance counselors work among the students and learn who would benefit from additional services including counseling.
These are not students that are necessarily prone to violence needing intervention but students that need help in dealing with the struggles life or perhaps family circumstances have presented to them.
Some families do not bring their children to counseling due to lack of knowledge or perceived stigma. As a family therapist, I have worked with Stephanie Samuels, and she has worked with me in identifying students where additional help such as counseling or other services will benefit that student and help prepare them to deal with their futures in a happier, healthier and more productive manner.
This department needs to be further developed, not reduced, and I hope the district can find a well-qualified person to fill the shoes of Ms. Samuels.
Mary Herrmann, Oakhurst
Here’s a hypothetical. Lets say you are a teacher. You are armed and you suddenly become aware that someone with a semi-automatic rifle is shooting students in your school. Upon firing your first shot, you’ve just become his primary target.
When the swat team arrives, they’re going to be aiming at anyone who is shooting; therefore, you now have a shooter and a whole swat team aiming to take you out. Trained professionals know how difficult it is to hit a target with a handgun even under controlled circumstances. The guy with the AR-15 doesn’t have to bother with it; all he has to do is aim in your general direction and pull the trigger. Can you see how this is turning out?
I wonder how many armchair swat teamers have the level of training and mental acuity to know when, where and how to engage a mass shooter in the split second that a shooting occurs.
I have a family member who works in law enforcement at the administrative level. The same thought occurred to him and he returned his standard-issue sidearm for that very reason. I also have family members who are teachers. They made a career choice to be educators.
If anyone had informed them that in addition to their duties as teachers, they would also be required to put themselves in the line of fire, they most certainly would’ve chosen a different profession.
Joe Nelson, Oakhurst
Thank you for publishing Pat Hofferman’s letter on March 1 titled “Political Views at Work,” where he suggests some store owners are losing business due to ‘political’ remarks by employees to customers.
When I first moved here, I was quite surprised at the level of stereotyping and bigotry I found in our community. A general dislike for liberals appeared to be a common bonding experience.
I was also extremely dismayed to see liberal stereotyping in the opinion section of the Sierra Star. Our community has only gotten worse. I do not even call it a community anymore - we are a collection of feuding tribes.
Two democrats I know put “Yosemite Democrats” bumber stickers on their cars. One had their car keyed at the grocery store. The other had a worker who refused them service.
Another friend refuses to hire anyone who claims to be Republican to work on her property. Yet another refused to give any money to fire victims because she was sick of being called “a bleeding heart liberal.”
Bottom line, we are a community divided and we are destroying ourselves. Seems like it is no longer acceptable to have a difference of opinion.
I am reminded of Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet,” how two young lovers were caught up in warring family tribes. In the end, “all are punished.”
Joy Bonham, Oakhurst