The Citizen Poll is a weekly compilation of reader comments on subjects of local interest. The Citizen publishes as many comments as space allows. Comments, which may be edited for space or content, are published anonymously on Sunday. To submit a comment, call 770-483-7108, ext. 402, email poll@rockdalecitizen.com or complete the online form.

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“I feel comforted in seeing the never-ending commercials for all the benevolent legal firms diligently offering protection from insurance companies, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, vehicle drivers, manufacturers of hospital equipment and surgical supplies, and anything that can cause mesothelioma. They work endlessly to insure that I (or a loved one) will get all the money to which I am entitled. For all of you who might feel that they are just greedy parasites trying to build class-action cases so that they can rake in millions of dollars for themselves, just remember, it’s only 82 percent of them that give them all a bad name.”

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“Billy breaks a window in his neighbor’s car and his dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

1957 — Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.

2015 — Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse, Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy’s sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy’s mom has an affair with the psychologist.”

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“To the lady eating Craisins sandwiches, what is your recipe? Is it just Craisins and bread?”

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“Anyone who thinks Rockdale is still a ‘great place’ must have never lived in a nice place before. Those of us who did live in Rockdale before it became a crime-ridden cesspool know the difference. The rest of you moved here from south DeKalb, Chicago, Clayton County, Baltimore, Detroit, New Orleans’ 9th ward and other bombed out areas, so maybe to you the fact that there aren’t yet burned-out vehicles on every corner makes this place wonderful. But trust me, it once was safe and the schools were good. It once was a place where people could leave the house without worrying about their door getting kicked in, could eat at a restaurant without their car getting jacked, could leave a store without getting robbed. Not anymore.”

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“Correction to the person saying Conyers is South DeKalb. West Newton and Rockdale are South DeKalb — full of thugs and crime and bad schools. Newton County better build a wall at Exit 93 to stop it from cancering on out.”

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“Dear Michelle Obama. I just had the new bacon crust Little Ceasar’s pizza and a Chick-fil-A cookie and topped it off with a Heathbar Blizzard for lunch. For my drink I had a big gulp from QT and a stick of Juicy Fruit to freshen up before returning to the office. Whatchoo gone do ‘bout it? Nuffin’!”

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“(To an earlier commenter) You did not answer my question. Why? What good do you do by pointing out bad things about Conyers? How does it help anyone? It reminds me of the person in an emergency who says, ‘Nothing will work. We’re all gonna die.’ All it does is hurt others. So… answer the question. Why say those negative things?”

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“I’m glad to have read the letter about illegal immigration in your paper. My job allows me interaction with people who are looking for work, and I can tell you that for years I have worked with people who lost their jobs to illegal immigrants and green card holders. The immigrants are not taking jobs ‘Americans won’t do,’ they are working for cheaper, that is all, and companies are dropping citizens to hire illegals and others for this reason. Construction, data processing, landscaping, you name it, these are jobs that Americans did and are willing to do that are being given to illegals. Don’t be fooled by the ‘checks’ that are supposed to be in place. E-verify is easily fooled, and fake IDs are rampant. I do not know why government is deliberately undercutting the American workforce and putting so many of our citizens onto welfare rolls, but it is happening. And it is destructive, both for our country and for the well-being of our citizens, the ones who were born here, the ones who are legal.”

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“If anyone knows who’s doing all the shooting behind Stoneleigh Drive, could you tell ‘em to cut it out? I don’t like to call police for something stupid, but I’m tired of having my kids freakin’ out on the weekend outside on Sunday listening to a bunch of rifle shots out behind my house. You want to hunt, go do it somewhere not in people’s neighborhoods. My kids are afraid they’re going to get shot.”

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“Dear Principal, We had such high hopes when we heard of your return to our school. We thought that finally we would have an administrator that was supportive of the teachers. Someone who truly understood what it was like to be in the classroom. Someone who took control of students’ behaviors. After all, this is what we saw you do when you were our AP. Our question is, what happened? Now, it seems you’re unorganized and have no time for us. You pile more and more duties and responsibilities on top of our vast workload, so there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Do you not realize that we are sinking under the weight of what you are asking from us? We are stressed to the maximum. Our blood pressures are high and our stomachs hurt. Working for the school is making us physically sick. Do you realize how much of your staff are actively looking for new positions? Then you tell us that we’re teaching wrong. This comes not only from you, but also from your APs. When you come in to assess us, we are never doing anything right. Even though we are following guidelines set forth by the county and the state. It always seems to be a ‘got you.’ When do we get to assess you using a form like the one you use for us: lost benchmarks, unorganized, missed deadlines, lack of leadership, no planning, lack of student discipline, and poor school climate? Your grades would be NI. Please realize that we are doing the best that we can for you, the students, and the school. Let us have some autonomy in our classes. We could forgive a lot if we just felt supported. We’re not talking about wearing jeans or a piece of candy. Yes, that’s nice, but principals are the central figure in the school who shape the school’s climate. It’s up to you to foster an environment of trust that allows staff to feel safe to speak their mind for a shared school vision. So our advice is have a clear vision and be able to express it to the staff and students, establish credibility and trust with the staff, get out of the office and be visible in the hallways during transitions, talk to the students and staff, and include staff and students in the decision-making for the school. We know you have a hard job. Most of us wouldn’t want your position. But realize, we were happy to have you back in our school. Now let’s work together to fix the school. Your Middle School Staff.”

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