Re: The Press, Aug. 22
On Wednesday, Aug. 22, Press headlines read, “The votes are in — Wyoming rebuffs Trump, picks native son in GOP governor race.” Really?
Don’t be so sure of that. Monday, Aug. 20, we received an evening phone call stating that if we were a Democrat or independent, to go to the Republican polling places, register as a Republican and cast our vote for Mark Gordon, a moderate, to keep Foster Friess, a Trump supporter, from winning the election. Stating that we could switch back again later. The caller was sure this would prove “Wyoming was not a Trump state!”
We were assured this was perfectly legal. Legal, really — how about ethical! We seem to be far more than a swamp — more like a cesspool of sewage when we have to stoop to this kind of deception rather than winning fair and square.
Re: Sheridan schools, 504 Plan
To any parent who feels their child may need a 504 Plan while attending school in Sheridan, the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is designed to help parents of students with physical or mental impairments in public schools, or publicly funded private schools, work with educators to design customized educational plans. These 504 Plans legally ensure that students will be treated fairly at school.
Students can qualify for 504 Plans if they have physical or mental impairments that affect or limit any of their abilities to walk, breathe, eat, sleep, communicate, see, hear, speak, read, concentrate, think, learn, stand, bend, lift or work.
This was our experience while our son attended Sheridan Junior High School. Our son wears a prosthetic leg. There are times when our son has to use crutches or a wheelchair. We requested a 504 Plan so all his needs could be met. Well, they denied that he needed a 504 Plan. At one point our son needed surgery on his good leg. This would put him in his wheelchair for three weeks.
Still, they denied him a 504 Plan but put him in the library and the teachers would bring him his classwork. I cannot tell you how many times they forgot him and downgraded his work. There were times he even missed lunch. My husband and I had to call teachers to get all his classwork figured out.
We contacted the Wyoming Department of Education and they gave us a phone number to call the Department of Education in Washington, D.C. We called the number they gave us and they passed us on to another and another. We easily tired of the bureaucratic game so my husband and I were constantly contacting teachers and coaches, to help our son stay on top of his school work and extra-curricular activities.
Now we have moved to Cheyenne and when I took him in to register for his high school classes the first thing the counselor asked was, did you bring his 504 Plan from Sheridan. You should have seen the look on the counselor’s face when I told her he was denied the 504 Plan. The counselor said she would take care of it.
What happens to those students who may have greater needs than our son? Your community needs to help these parents attain the help their students may desperately need.
to be proud of
Re: McCain, McGinnis, Hackman
As our nation mourns the loss of U.S. Sen. John McCain it is important to reflect on perhaps his greatest legacy — the higher calling to public service. Sen. McCain served his country with valor and honor first as a Navy pilot and then for decades in the U.S. Congress. We can debate his policy positions but we can never debate or doubt his devotion to our country or the torture he endured on the nation’s behalf.
John McCain was a war hero no matter what anyone may say. He epitomized public service. Also demonstrating that spirit of service are those in our own community who get up each and every day to teach the students filling Sheridan County’s public school classrooms, manage our public lands, serve as first responders, repair our roads and care for our veterans. The Sheridan County Democratic Party is proud of two faithful servants who have demonstrated throughout their lives what service to country and community looks like.
Hollis Hackman served our nation honorably in the U.S. Army. His service continued after leaving the Army. While working for decades at the Sheridan VA, Hollis committed himself to helping our returning servicemen and women deal with the trauma and injuries of combat. He continues to be a tireless advocate and strong voice for our neighbors who are suffering with mental health challenges. Hollis also put his energies into helping create a better future for Sheridan students by serving as a member of the Sheridan County School District Board of Trustees.
Jay McGinnis dedicated his life to the youth of our community, tirelessly working to ensure kids in Sheridan were given opportunities to reach their full potential. Jay served as the director of the Sheridan County YMCA for more than four decades. In this capacity it is hard to calculate the lives Jay has touched, the community leaders he has mentored and the legacy that will be felt for generations.
Sheridan needs elected officials like Jay and Hollis who work for the betterment of our community. We need leaders who fight for our community instead of spending most of their time finding ways to diminish public education and strip it of funding. We need leaders who will put the interests of Sheridan residents first. We need leaders who value and want to protect our public lands. We need leaders who believe in good government and service to our citizens.
President John F. Kennedy famously urged his fellow citizens to, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Hollis Hackman and Jay McGinnis both answered that call with a lifetime working for the betterment of our community. This is what service looks like. Both Jay and Hollis would continue their commitment to Sheridan with devotion and passion in the Wyoming Senate and the Sheridan County Commission. These are the kind of public servants Sheridan can be proud of.
Sheridan County Democratic Party Committee
Editor’s note: The word count for the above letter was waived.