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I finally have to speak up, because I really don’t know what the St. Mary’s County commissioners are thinking. Bad time to ask for a raise? Doing more with less? Military training for teachers? What goes through your mind when you say things like this?

I have already been doing more for less. The commissioners know exactly what has been done to the teachers in this county going back to 2009. They are directly responsible for our lack of raises and then criticize us for asking for what is rightfully ours.

I sympathize for the people will be affected by sequestration, because St. Mary’s County teachers already know what its like to be threatened with furloughs, job cuts and having salaries frozen.

As I have already been doing more for less, there is the normal buying of school supplies for students and myself, and this school year I have also been solicited for:

• An opportunity to purchase an iPad (because it would help me do my job better).

• Donating money for food for students to take home over the weekends.

• Donating money for clothes and shoes for students.

• Donating money for cancer charities.

So as the lines get more and more blurred between teacher and parent responsibilities, it’s costing me money. All the while, as my salary steps are frozen, I am actually losing money because of the cost-of-living increases.

So on top of being asked to teach, feed and clothe the students, let’s add on the knee-jerk response comment about military-type training for teachers. Suggesting training geared for 18- to 20-year-olds given to teachers twice to three times that age? And no offense to my colleagues, half of whom are in no shape to be taking such training. I can’t imagine the legal issues arising from something like this. As one war veteran to another, Commissioner Dan Morris, you should know better than to make such a suggestion. Suggesting teachers take such training is a cheaper option then hiring trained professionals to protect the schools.

My suggestion for you and the other commissioners is to think before you speak. I find it degrading to what we have already done and put up with to this point. My military training has taught me to read between the lines and look for the most likely scenario. Jail costs, trying to finish road projects to relieve traffic congestion, sequestration, etc. The school board will ask, you will deny, and my bank account will continue to empty. Please try not to insult me during the process.

Teaching for me is not supplemental income to a spouse who works somewhere else for more money. My wife and I are both teachers and are feeling the cold of the salary freeze thanks to you. Sorry if I caught you at a bad time, but I would like what was promised to me when I signed my contract.

Christopher Karnbach, Hollywood