Your April 28 issue featured a front-page story involving the mutilation of a turtle after it died and the public outcry that arose after the turtle was found. In fact, at the time of publication, almost $1,400 had been raised to help find the turtle’s “murderer” and the mayor was considering a personal donation to round the money up to $2,000. Given that the donations were given by only 26 people, this means that an average donation of more than $50 per person was pledged. Animal care and rescue is important and I am a paying member of three different “Save the…” groups.
However, I’m also an educator who retired after 40 years of teaching local elementary students – which makes me wonder how many of those 26 people (or your readership) gave even close to $50 to end hunger among children; help feed/clothe the homeless or destitute; help victims of natural disasters; etc., etc., etc. Helping to save the world population of wild animals is a good thing; sterilizing pets is a good thing; helping to clean litter from our waters is a good thing and people should put their charity money where they want it. But, as a provider of information for your readers and the general public, The Valley Breeze has an obligation to choose stories that will incite more than anger and bloodlust!
Where were the news organizations when my colleagues and I used our paychecks to provide groceries to students when the city’s “Backpack” program ended? There was no outcry or ‘Go Fund Me’ account when massive amounts of food were thrown away daily from Woonsocket’s ‘Breakfast in the Classroom’ program and teachers had to ‘hide’ leftover food for students to eat them later in the day or have more food if they are still hungry. Anyone with an 11-year-old boy at home knows that a single muffin or piece of pizza doesn’t fuel the day. I don’t have the answers, but I know that the questions are not being asked of people who deal with starving children on a daily basis. Any teacher would be thrilled to have $2,000 to spend on a class of students who need more than just finding out who decapitated a dead turtle. You cannot eat a granite monument to a turtle, regardless of age or manner of death. Please publish a socially responsible newspaper both in the choice of articles and in the point of view when reporting them. Thank you.