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Friday, September 30, 2016

School board debate goes as expected…

The debate last night came across about how I expected. Alex Saitta presented the material asked like the veteran that he is: Giving details, personal experiences on the  School Board, and experienced suggestions as to how things could be made better. Shannon Haskett, Son of Parker Haskett a former member of the old Taxpayers Association, presented a very impressive personal appearance and a knowledge of public speaking. His main point was that the Seat needed to be changed. I ask you Why? Alex has done more for education on the Board than all of the other members put together. He fights for the teacher's jobs, for more presence in the classroom, and for as sound of finances as possible. He has voted for teacher raises and benefits, for administrative help increases, and diligently fought for the northern schools to remain open. He fought for real prayer:The only real fighter and now it is approved. He keeps his constituents informed. Many other taxpayers ask him for help even though he does not represent them. So I ask you why vote for change of great experience as vs. total inexperience.

My opinion is this. The school administration does not want someone on the board that keeps the public informed, examines all financial issues, and works like a dog to be for the taxpayers and the children truly. They have enlisted some organizations to help them "get rid of Alex". Why? So they can do their work behind closed doors and not be discovered by the public. They can run to Advanced Ed and get them to report things that are not true or distorted. I don't agree with everything any politician does, but I can trust Alex to study the issue before he votes on it.

Our organization does not endorse any candidate, but I can truthfully say that "getting rid of Alex" will hurt the county both financially and educationally. At some point Shannon Haskett will make a good candidate for public work, but not now in Alex Saitta's place.

Junius Smith
President of Conservatives of the Upstate

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The U.S. Capitol Building Served As A Church Building ...

Many people are surprised to learn that the United States Capitol regularly served as a church building; a practice that began even before Congress officially moved into the building and lasted until well after the Civil War. Read the link below for  a brief history of the Capitol's use as a church, and some of the prominent individuals who attended services there.

Social Security ...


Remember, not only did you contribute to Social Security but your employer did too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged only 30K over your 49 year working life, that’s close to $220,500. If you calculate the future value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer’s contribution) at a simple 5% (less than what the govt. pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working (me) you’d have $892,919.98. If you took out only 3% per year, you would receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years, and that’s with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit! 

If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you’d have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month. 

The public needs to know that the original social security and medicare are not broke.  Even if you took the really sick in, it is nowhere near broke.  It is the ineligible participants and free loaders that have run the system out.  Put Hillary Clinton in the presidency and Americans surely are going broke.  Folks forget that it was Hillary and her Husband that went to Russia to learn the communist system. The Clintons learned under Cloward and Piven that taught their students how to bankrupt America.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Do They Listen?

Do They Listen?

The first amendment says the government should not establish a religion, and it cannot prohibit the free exercise of religion or religious expression. 

It has always been important to the people of Pickens County that our elected representatives recognize government cannot infringe on a person’s right to pray and we expect our representatives to publicly exercise that right themselves. 

Non-sectarian prayers to a nameless “god” is not a prayer that is heard according to my Bible.

I praise the school board for changing the official opening prayer to one that can be be said in Jesus name. All of the school board trustees deserve credit for making the change. However, I think Alex Saitta deserves a huge thank you.

Alex Saitta gave his advice to the other board members on this issue 3 months ago, and they ignored his plea. His effort was ridiculed by some as a political stunt. Time has proven that he was right and they were wrong. We could have been praying to Jesus much sooner had they listened.

It is refreshing to know Alex Saitta is an elected leader in Pickens that will stand up for Jesus and our Constitutional rights even when unjustly being attacked on important issues like this. 

Our school board and district administration NEED to better listen to ALL our school board members and constituents and not tune out to good advice because of politics. Sometimes you CAN learn something new by listening to others advice and opinions regardless of whether you like that person personally or not.

Closing Albert R. Lewis and Holly Springs schools was the ultimate slap in the face of the public the board members serve. Four of the six board members did NOT listen to the opinions and advice of the public or Alex Saitta and Henry Wilson.

Swords, Bowers, Edwards and deceased member Cooper betrayed the will of the public and their trust. That decision was a mistake. Support for public education in our county will never be as strong as it was before because of their lack of wisdom to listen. Those 4 elected officials played politics with our children and that is reprehensible.

The Bible gives us insight on wisdom in James 3:17 “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” 

by Johnnelle Raines  
Board Member Conservatives of the Upstate

Your final few days are upon you ...


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Just Going By Campaign Slogans


Just Going By Campaign Slogans

by Rus Smith

Can we glean any insight into the U.S. Presidential candidates just by their campaign slogans? 

Let's take a closer look at the slogan choices of each campaign.

Former First Lady, turned U.S. Senator and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has the campaign slogan of "Stronger Together." At first glance this seems like a simple statement of uniting the American people under a cause of freedom, but it's one of the most carefully chosen and coded slogans in the history of U.S. Presidential campaigns.

While some political candidates place their name and office on their signs and advertisements and others put a few virtues they hold dear like "transparency" or "fiscal responsibility" - democrats tend to make nebulous statements to be all inclusive - offending no one. Statements in campaigns like "transparency" and "fiscal responsibility" may imply other candidates or even potential supporters may be involved in impropriety because the current office holders lack these qualities.

Clinton chose these buzzwords carefully. Opinions and punditry aside; Clinton is a globalist. She freely admits this. What is a globalist? According to Webster's Dictionary; 'a person who advocates the interpretation or planning of economic and foreign policy in relation to events and developments throughout the world'. In other words, "united power" - but more importantly - decentralized non-representative power.

The words "Stronger Together" couldn't possibly be any more poignant to a global government. 

I personally prefer as local and as personal of a government as possible. I like to know that if I alone face an issue; I could speak with someone that I consider a neighbor that has the power to address that issue and explain to me in detail whether or not they will champion me. 

Hillary Clinton is a strong believer in a United Nations maxim known as "Agenda 21." While many start thinking of tin foil hats and right wing nut job conspiracies when "Agenda 21" is mentioned - it is a real piece of terminology and being strongly enforced by The United Nations on its member nations. 

Agenda 21 calls for the formation of non elected government bodies specifically termed as "NGOs" (Non Governmental Organizations) to create policy and influence spending. One of the world's largest NGOs is The Clinton Foundation.

Recently, an NGO that is strong on regionalization and decentralized, non representative government by the name of "Ten At The Top" met in Greenville SC. This group, comprising of the 10 counties in Upstate South Carolina, claims to be apolitical in all aspects. If that were true, then why use the exact same campaign slogan as the Clinton campaign?  (See picture)

Donald Trump's campaign slogan is "Make America Great Again". The slogan stemmed from something he said during a press conference before a debate. He began to repeat it. It resonated with Americans who know that just as recently as the four decades of the 60s through the 90s were great - with bumps - but always a recovery. It now seems like America is in a stagnant holding pattern - with no growth or prosperity in sight - mostly due to the overwhelming national debt, non-vetted immigration, and uncontrolled spending in government. Donald Trump's wealth grew because government seemed in check with the American people. Protests saw change for the better rather than protests being a business model to better the elite's purses. Radical social change has taken place of our country's moral responsibilities. 

Trump decided that a baseball cap with his slogan embodied the American people. And, like him or not - he obtained more primary votes than any candidate in history.

In my lifetime, I've never witnessed a stronger political movement than Trump's. His campaign of "we can have it back" resonates with taxpayers and citizen's rights advocates. I've had many say to me, "He says what I wish I could say." And again, like it or not, you have to admit you've wanted to turn to a person and just call them "ugly", but you were too shy or too modest or your mother taught you better. Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign is aimed at everyone - let's get back to the land we knew when we seemed the most free and most prosperous.

Lastly, third party front runner for the Libertarian ticket - Gary Johnson. His campaign slogan is "Our Best America Yet." 

Obviously, this is an attempt to satire Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again."

I voted in the primary. I hope you did too. Did you get a chance to vote for Gary Johnson? I didn't. I didn't even know he was running until he said he was chosen as the libertarian candidate. I was actually disappointed because I identify most with libertarianism. I wanted to choose the candidate. I personally do not want Gary Johnson's version of America if that means some secretive elite groups who think they know better than me make decisions for me.

The best America yet would be where Gary Johnson was chosen by landslide votes of the American people like Trump or Hillary. Especially in the Republican Party - a wide variety of candidates from every background and qualification was offered.

I believe the country as a whole would be best served by a libertarian, but I'm not sure we need leadership looking for the best America yet. It seems like presidents who use those words are prefacing a major conflict. Look no further than Lincoln before the Civil War or Kennedy before Vietnam. Gary Johnson's "best America yet" may be the world's worst nightmare yet.

Nothing I have seen or researched indicates that Gary Johnson could deliver on his campaign motto.

One should not be voted for simply because they are a third choice.

"Suppose you were an idiot. And, suppose you were a politician ... But I repeat myself." 

~ Mark Twain



Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Bible: Always On Point ...

Recent headlines are literally jumping from this passage:

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. 

The authorities that exist have been established by God. 

Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 

For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. 

Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? 

Then do what is right and you will be commended.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭13:1-3‬ ‭

Truth ...


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What's supppse to be done when taxes are over collected? 12-43-285 tells us exactly.


Summary Of September 2016 Pickens County Council Meeting ...

Last night's County Council meeting was good and bad and sometimes ugly. 

First, our attendance by Conservatives of the Upstate was good. We had eight to attend and the only speakers were from our group with the exception of the Pickens County Humane Society. They were there to beg for money and to be frank with you I think the County Council has the money to properly support them. Remember that God asked man to look after the animals and to even name them,yet we cannot even afford to help our unwanted animals live a decent life. The County Council asked for and voted for recreation districts and money for which the children are not even treated fairly by the cities. The County children are charged an extra amount to participate in city programs by the cities. Some of this money should be used to help fund their pets, since the cities cannot play fair with their fees of participation. It was recommended that no money be given to the cities as long as they maintain this kind of attitude and we are paying taxes in their restaurants.

The County Council - in an effort to finish all business - is - in my opinion; breaking the law by borrowing $7.8 million dollars for general expense - claiming that that the $23 million that is set aside for a new jail takes all their cushion before funds start to come in from tax revenue. This is just not a proper excuse. The funds should already be there if the money has been spent properly and the budget followed. It is my opinion these accounts are not set up properly in the treasurer's office. Over collections are not properly handled and the people are being asked to borrow money that is not needed.

The $6.5 million that Tri County Tech has asked for has been temporarily put aside for the new council to make a decision on. They will be faced with the same Constitutional issue - the State is responsible for funding Tri County Tech. Tri County Tech has reportedly said that they would increase Pickens County Student's fees to make up for the difference. In my opinion, if this happens, the President of Tri County Tech should be fired.

There were numerous committee actions taken up. This is why people should attend these meetings and voice their opinions. 

Johnnelle Raines, Junius Smith, Steve Haynie, Rick Spencer, and Pat Watkins all made talks for the tax payers. Johnnelle spoke to the council about the refugee problem, Junius spoke on several budget problems, Steve Haynie spoke on GPATS and City charges to County children, Rick spoke on mobile home fire fees, and Pat Watkins on Land Grant Colleges and Tri County Tech. 

Carol Smith helped me write this report.

The meeting was long and a lot of subjects were covered.


Junius Smith
President Conservatives of the Upstate

THE Good News ...


Monday, September 19, 2016

4th Circuit Rules On Prayer ...

As reported by The Associated Press:

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals split 2-1 in deciding that the Rowan County
commission had a constitutional right to open meetings with prayers. The prayers included almost exclusively Christian references and the commission's five members invited audience members to stand and participate.
The court — which decides constitutional disputes involving Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina — said prayers opening meetings of legislative bodies are as old as the country and aren't limited to neutral religious statements or references to a generic God. As long as the board's five members didn't proselytize or disparage religious beliefs, they were constitutionally protected, the court ruled.
"Not only are the legislators themselves the intended 'congregation' for legislative prayer, but the practice carries special meaning to the thousands of state and local legislators who are citizen representatives," Judge G. Steven Agee wrote in the court's opinion.

Unsure About Upstate Counties Making A Refugee Resolution?

Unsure about today's earlier opinion by Johnnelle Raines ...

From Yahoo News, The Associated Press,  & CBS:

The U.S. government has mistakenly granted citizenship to at least 858 immigrants from countries of concern to national security or with high rates of immigration fraud who had pending deportation orders, according to an internal Homeland Security audit released Monday.
The Homeland Security Department's inspector general found that the immigrants used different names or birthdates to apply for citizenship with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and such discrepancies weren't caught because their fingerprints were missing from government databases.

Read more:

Do Our Elected Officials Care About Their Citizens' Safety?

Do Our Elected Officials Care About Their Citizens' safety? 

Are our local, state and federal officials protecting us to the best of their ability? 

These recent Islamic terrorism attacks in our country are making me doubt they care. 

Do any of you know why these Islamic immigrants and refugees with no job skills, no money of their own, unknown diseases, haven't been vetted, whose ideology hates Christians and Americans are being brought here at the expense of our tax dollars? 

This knife wielding Somalian Islamic terrorist they arrested is a product of our immigration/refugee program. And we are bringing in more just like him and giving them OUR TAX DOLLARS to raise their children to be terrorists? How many more innocent lives are going to be taken by these Islamic refugees yelling Allah Akbar? 


I have searched the internet and cannot even find reliable information on just how many Islamic immigrants and refugees are presently in our country or state or county.... 

There are other ways these Islamic people are coming here besides the Refugee Resettlement like ones who are given a temporary protected status, ones seeking asylum, students studying in our colleges and others who have overstayed their visas or even the illegal ones crossing our borders! 

WE all need to be marching in the streets of Washington DC, Columbia SC and in Pickens demanding our government officials not allow ANY MORE immigrants and refugees from terror producing countries to settle here!

WE NEED TO ALL BE DEMANDING Congress cut the funds off for these Refugee/Immigration programs in the Continuing Resolution! 

Brian Bilbrois a courageous SC citizen hero who is suing Governor Haley, President Obama, the DHS, the DOJ, and other subordinate agencies including SCDSS, Lutheran Social Services, and World Relief to stop the 2016 State Refugee Resettlement Plan. His attorney is , Ms. Lauren Martel of Hilton HeadThey are up against the Southern Poverty Law Center representing Lutheran Services as well as several large SC law firms and three US Attorneys who have made appearances on behalf of supporting the Resettlement Plan.

I am here tonight to ask my county council on behalf of the members of Conservatives of the Upstate to HELP PROTECT US!

The budget proviso amendment you included in the last budget is expiring and will be of no use. 

We have new members of county council coming on in January and I am worried they have the same views on this subject that Rep. Neal Collins' and Rep. Gary Clary have displayed...which is they are not worried about more Islamic refugees being allowed in ...they trust the vetting process...they say it is the Christian, Statue of Liberty thing to do... 

Well I say God wants us to be compassionate Christians but not FOOLS! 

Elected officials shouldn't be placing our own citizenry in harms way especially on our tax dollars! That folks is being played for a fool! 

Proverbs 13:20 says: 

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, 
but the companion of fools will suffer harm. 

Are the President of the United States, our Senate and Congress being fools by ignoring our safety? Is Gov. Nikki Haley being a fool by ignoring our safety? Are our SC Legislators being fools by ignoring our safety? Are our County Council members going to be guilty of being fools? 

Here is what I am requesting that our present County Council do before leaving office in January. Hold a press conference to read a STRONG LETTER signed by all of you to send to Gov. Nikki Haley and the White House that YOU will not tolerate putting your citizenry at risk. And you will fight any Refugee Resettlement Project from taking place in Pickens County. 

This will show Pickens' citizenry you actually do care! This will inspire other SC counties to take a bold stand! 

If Hillary gets elected she wants to increase the refugees to 65,000 in her term. If even one jihadist gets settled in Pickens County that will place our citizenry in harms way. What if people get stabbed at our local malls or a pressure cooker bomb gets placed in a trash receptacle at a Clemson football game?

The number one purpose of government is to protect its citizenry. 

YOU need to take a publicized stand to send a clear message to our state and federal government that YOU take your oath of office seriously. 

YOU are the ones who should be leading the fight against allowing Islamic refugees settling here who would be promoting harm to our citizenry.

If you don't do this... then God have mercy on your souls... because any citizen killed or injured by these terrorists in Pickens County will leave blood on YOUR hands. 

Johnnelle Raines
Board Member Conservatives of the Upstate

Debunking Planned Parenthood's 3% Statistic ..,

When debating the topic of abortion and Planned Parenthood ... Here's some good info to have:

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Your Child's School Records ...

Your Child's School Records 
by: Deidre Hayden / Great Schools

The Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act

Schools are required by federal and state laws to maintain certain records and to make these records available to you upon request. The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act(FERPA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) establish the minimum requirements school systems must meet in maintaining, protecting, and providing access to students’ school records. State laws will sometimes go beyond these minimum requirements and provide parents with additional rights to review, modify, or seek other changes in these records. Be sure to obtain a copy of your own state’s and school district’s school records laws and procedures by contacting your school district’s director of special education.

Obtaining your child’s records from the local school

Getting copies of your child’s school records should be fairly easy. While federal law does not specifically require school systems to provide parents with copies of these records, in practice most school systems do so upon request.

Types of files

Begin by asking the school principal about the location of your child’s various files or records. 

These will include:

* Cumulative file. The principal will have your child’s cumulative file, which you will want to see and copy. Often the cumulative file contains little more than a profile card with personal identification data and perhaps academic achievement levels, some teacher reports, and report cards. 
* Confidential file. Also accessible to parents, the confidential file may be kept at your child’s school, or in a central administrative office where the special education program offices are located. The file is called confidential because access to the information is limited to certain individuals. Your child’s confidential record includes all of the reports written as a result of the school’s evaluation; reports of independent evaluators, if any; medical records that you have had released; summary reports of evaluation team and eligibility committee meetings; your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP); and, often, correspondence between you and school personnel. 
* Compliance file (some schools). Some school systems keep the reports of eligibility meetings, correspondence between the parents and school officials, and other similar documents in a separate compliance file. The contents of the compliance file demonstrate that the school system has met the timelines, notification, and consent regulations required by IDEA. 
* Discipline file (some schools).Some schools may also maintain a separate file regarding discipline issues involving long-term suspension or expulsion.

A good bit of detective work is sometimes required to understand your school system’s individual filing system.

Getting copies of records

School districts usually require parents to sign a “release of information” form before they will provide copies of schools records. You can often obtain that form through your child’s school, or by simply writing a letter to the school principal or special education director, requesting a copy of school records. In many school districts, parents can go to the district’s special education offices and fill out a form to request their children’s records.

School districts usually provide the first copy of records for free. If they do charge a fee, the fee can be only for the cost of reproducing and mailing the records, not for personnel time or other costs. 

Again, check your local policies and procedures for your district’s process.

Records open to parents

Once you have gained access to your child’s records, does this mean you can see any and all records pertaining to your child? Which records is the school system legally required to show you? Under FERPA, schools must show parents all records, files, documents, and other materials that are maintained by the school system and contain information relating to their children. This includes all records referring to your child in any personally identifiable manner – that is, records containing your child’s name, Social Security number, student ID number, or other data making them traceable to her.
The following are excluded from the records schools must show you:
* Notes of teachers, counselors, and/or school administrators, made for their personal use and shown to nobody else (except a substitute teacher) 
* Personnel records of school employees

Examining and correcting your child’s records

Even when you have your child’s records in your hands, you may wonder what you’ve got. The language of the educators, psychologists, educational diagnosticians, and other school professionals is often difficult to understand. If this is the case for you, all you need to do is ask someone to help you. The law requires school personnel to explain the records to you when you do not understand them. Or you may take a friend or a knowledgeable professional with you to help review the records and explain confusing parts. When you do this, however, you will be asked to sign a form giving that person permission to see your child’s records.

As you review the records, you may find places where information given about your child or family conflicts with your own assessments. If left unchallenged, this material could lead to decisions about your child’s educational program that are not in his or her best interest. 

To prevent this from happening, you can follow two paths.
* First, you can informally ask the principal or the director of special education to delete the material, giving your reasons for the request. Often school officials will honor the request and no problem arises. 
* You may also write down your objections to a particular record and have that attached to the record.

If you strongly believe the report does not belong in your child’s record, and the schools refuse to remove the requested material, you have a right to a formal records hearing. Your state and local school district policies will tell you how to follow the more formal process for amending your child’s records.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Hard to believe, but you don't have to prove you're a citizen in order to vote ...

From The Associated Press:

 A federal appeals court has blocked Kansas, Georgia and Alabama from requiring residents to prove they are U.S. citizens when registering to vote using a national form.

The 2-1 ruling Friday said a U.S. election official illegally changed proof-of-citizenship requirements on the federal registration form at the behest of the three states.

People registering to vote in other states are only required to swear that that they are citizens, not show documentary proof.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia acted swiftly in the case, issuing a two-page, unsigned ruling just a day after hearing oral arguments. A federal judge in July had refused to block the requirement while the case is considered on the merits.

The League of Women Voters and civil rights groups argued that the requirements could lead to the “mass disenfranchisement” of thousands of potential voters — many of them poor, African-American and living in rural areas.

The case now returns to the district court for a full hearing on the merits. But the appeals court said the voting rights groups are likely to succeed on the merits.
The change requires people seeking to register to show birth certificates, naturalization papers or other documents as proof of citizenship. Kansas has been actively enforcing the requirement, but Alabama and Georgia have not.

The appeals court’s ruling requires the commission to immediately remove the proof-of-citizenship requirement from all forms. It requires the states to treat all registration applications filed since January 29 as if they did not have the requirement.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach had argued that the change was needed to prevent voter fraud. He rejected claims that the requirement undermined voter registration, saying Kansas voter rolls have risen overall this year.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Town Hall Forum presented by COTU & PCTA

 On Tuesday October 4, 2016, Conservatives of the Upstate in partnership with The Pickens County Taxpayer Association will be holding a Town Hall Forum at 7PM to give YOU an opportunity to ask elected leaders questions about your concerns of the future direction of our county.

The location for the event  is

4502 Moorefield Memorial Hwy
Pickens, SC 29671

Bethlehem-roanoke Water District Office Building.

This is a great opportunity for you to listen to how they respond to your concerns.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

September 2016 Meeting ...

Conservatives Of The Upstate hold a meeting at 6:30PM every second Thursday of each month at the Blue Ridge Bible Church,769 Belle Shoals Road in Pickens We will be discussing the proposed gas tax and the new Pickens United group amongst other topics. this montv. See you on Thursday evening.

All conservatives are invited on the 8th of Sept.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Loonier than Nader?

Listen for "mandatory" and "taxing carbon emissions.

I don't know of a single libertarian EVER that wanted a mandatory federal program OR a tax.

When I confront libertarians about voting for him - I say WHEN AND WHERE did  I or my my family or any  of my friends get to vet or vote for this looney toon. He literally is loonier than Nader and that is saying a lot.

Monday, September 5, 2016


We Don't Value School District Employees?

The claim by many citizens as well as some elected officials in Pickens County that the taxpayers of Pickens County do not value and pay school district employees well is untrue.

I recently requested the list of all school district employees making over $50,000 a year. Here is the link to the list that John Eby sent to me:

Twenty-two of the top brass earn more than $90,000 a year. Please understand...these employees don’t work a full year either. They are given 2 weeks off for Christmas, a week at spring break, 2 weeks of vacation, about 12 paid sick days, and Fridays off in the summer.

Principals, assistant principals, and teachers have a more generous annual calendar (less days they have to work).

The average salary for a teacher is nearly $50,000 in the SDPC. Some teachers, I can see make as much at $75,000 to $80,000 a year. Teachers work a 190 day year or less than 9 months, because they have summers off too.

There are other major benefits that people seem to ignore that school district employees have. These perks include, a premium family medical plan, unmatched job security, receiving 50% or more of their salary for life in retirement plus medical, as well as the fact they work in a new or renovated building.

It is insulting to say the citizens of Pickens County do not value school district employees, when we the citizens through our tax dollars allow them many things that we do not receive ourselves.

It is time for those people who claim we don't support our SDPC employees to quit lying to the citizens. Many of us support them to the detriment of being able to pay our property taxes in a timely manner.

By Johnnelle Raines

Happy Labor Day