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Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

SpeakOut 6/5

Thursday, June 5, 2003

Call 471-6636

My shift starts at 7 a.m. and at about 6:30 a.m. the fastest cars on the road belong to the correction cars at the Southeast Missouri Correction Center. What's going on in that place. Have they got a hot rod shop inside the prison or something? These are just plain-looking cars and they go by faster than anyplace else on the road. They go at least 20 miles over the speed limit. What's going on?

USA Today reported that legislatures controlled by Republicans increased spending by an average of 6.54 percent a year from 1997 to 2002 compared with 6.17 percent for legislatures controlled by Democrats. The story said states spend more when one party controls both the legislature and the governor's office. All politicians are self-serving. It's better to have a division of power on the state level than having one party in control of everything.

Having recently viewed the spectacle of high school graduation, I am appalled at the petty, "good-old-boy" format in which this ceremony was conducted. Of course I am referring to the childish way in which the school board members jump up to bestow diplomas on their family members, the children of their friends, their children's friends and the "name-brand" children in town. To those who are not part of the country club class, they look like cheap politicians worming their way into a ceremony meant to honor all the graduates. It is reminiscent of the insincere, political hacks of yesteryear who ran around kissing babies in front of the cameras, hoping to win votes. Have the board members ever thought about the message this sends to the graduates and their families? "Yes, Betsy (or Skip or any other privileged child's name), you are special and privileged, and we do care about you." "No, Susie (or Bud or any less well known child in town), we don't know you, we don't care to and in fact, if you and your family had stayed home this program would move a lot faster and smoother." I'm sure many parents would like to be able to get up on stage and hand their child their diploma. Why should the board members be the only ones privileged to do so? The ceremony would be much more dignified and meaningful to the graduates if the educators (principal, superintendent, teachers) handed out the diplomas and put an end to the favoritism. It is time our school board shows all our graduates the dignity and respect they deserve instead of the few who may help further their political careers.

This is in response to "Fact is," printed in Speak Out on May 30. Was this behavior reported to school administration/school board? If not, it should be. I'm certain the school board will be able to act on this information. This behavior cannot be accepted. Our teachers, school administration and school board members are held to a higher standard. Please report this to your school board if you haven't already.