Recently, Jerry Turner, thoughtfully and respectfully, penned a letter to the editor expressing concern regarding the recent release of balloons into our atmosphere by local school students. That means Jerry signed his name, taking ownership for the document. What disheartens me is the response in the Rant and Rave section of the Times-Enterprise by a seemingly poorly educated and/or uncaring reader who characterized Jerry’s words as those of a narrow-minded, mean-spirited spoiler of children’s fun.
What is that disheartening? 1. The ranter didn’t have the courage to sign his or her name. 2. The ranter either had no idea that littering and endangering wildlife, both on land and in the sea, are illegal and immoral, or he did not care. 3. With disdain, the ranter prompted readers (especially impressionable youth) to ignore the wisdom of a long-time, well-respected, well-educated south Georgia naturalist and educator.
Is it any wonder that our society is faced with bullying and lack of respect for one another when newspapers tacitly encourage readers to rudely spout their poorly thought-through rants with no requirement of ownership? I’m sure Rant and Rave sells newspapers, but you don’t call that journalism, do you?
If nothing else, Rant and Rave does underscore that our education system and our moral foundations are in serious disarry. I would hope that most of the community will learn from the lesson Jerry Turner had to share with us and will care enough to make the changes necessary to protect, not damager, our already too fragile enviroment.