Thursday, January 15, 2009

Alaskan Way Viaduct. Gregoire's Address. Children and Suicide. Teacher-Student Sex OK

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Normally I address only one issue that we feel is important on a given day. Just for today, we are departing from that format to briefly touch on four news stories from yesterday that we feel are worthy of comment.

King County, The City of Seattle and the State all agree on a solution for the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Do you know who was suggesting this very solution two years ago?

As I watched Governor Gregoire's address yesterday, I noticed something happening with the mostly partisan audience.

A book about ways to commit suicide will remain in a school library.

It's Okay for teachers to have sex with students in Washington State.

* King County, the City of Seattle and the State have all agreed that a deep bore tunnel is the solution for the Alaskan Way viaduct. Governor Gregoire's spokesperson, Pearse Edwards, said, "We believe we have a solution that serves all parties and is fiscally responsible." (Article).

This solution, a deep bore tunnel, was suggested by Dino Rossi at least two years ago.

* I watched with interest as Governor Gregoire gave her "State of the State" address yesterday. The atmosphere was circus-like leading up to her swearing in and her speech. However, as she gave what I personally felt was a well-delivered speech, the mostly partisan audience seemed to become more and more subdued. The applause became more scattered and less vigorous as she proceeded. It could have been the absence of detail in her address.

I was impressed with her "Jobs Now" plan and her pledge to reform government. Will she follow through? Can she make it happen? Time will tell. (Article).

*It's okay for a teacher to have sex with a student in Washington State, according to a unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the Washington Court of Appeals.

While the state's code of professional conduct for teachers prohibit sex with students, it is not illegal---as long as it is consensual and the student is over 17. Is anyone looking out for our kids? (Article).

* The ACLU has won again, with intimidation trumping common sense and what is best for our kids. When a book about ways to commit suicide drew wide spread attention, the ACLU wrote a warning letter to the school district that was considering pulling it from the library.

The book in question is a book of cartoons about bunnies who look for different ways to commit suicide titled "The Book of Bunny Suicides." A mother became concerned after her 13-year-old son brought the book home from school. The mother objected and ask that the book be removed from the library.

The Brownsville, Oregon school board caved in to the ACLU warning and voted to keep the book on the library shelf so other kids can have access to it.

I believe in free speech and freedom of expression, as most all of us do, however it is troubling that we can not provide a more helpful and nurturing environment for our kids. Teenagers today face challenges in ways and intensity their parents and grandparents never experienced. Is there no room for considering what is best for the child? Does a book about suicide in any way contribute to the positive development of a child? I don't think so.

But then, we must remember that Oregon has led, with Washington close behind, in the suicide business.

God help us.

Gary Randall
Faith & Freedom

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