May 1, 2013
After seemingly endless delays over whether to let a 14-year-old bisexual girl form a gay-straight club at Carver Middle School, the Lake County School Board faced a crowd of nearly 300 people last week — and voted to put off the decision. Again.
Ugh. Having a root canal on every single tooth at the same time would be more enjoyable than watching this School Board in action. The question is simple: Should a bunch of kids get to form a club with adult supervision? Really, this is just kids talking to one another. That's it.
A gay-straight alliance is not about sex, as some pastors seem to think. It's about acceptance. It's not about counseling kids who think they might be gay. It's about some young teens learning how to function in a world in which they don't fit — gay or straight. It's about getting together with others who won't judge.
Ladies and gents of the board, this is not some big watershed decision that will affect masses across the universe. Get on with it!
Instead, the School Board, motivated by a deep desire not to make a decision that won't be popular with some, is futzing around with irrelevant nonsense. Congratulations, board members! You've turned the question of a club for children into a referendum on your courage and leadership — or lack thereof.
Even worse, the School Board once again is wasting time on an issue that shouldn't require any thought at all instead of focusing on the core question that defines its existence: How can academics and student performance be improved in Lake County schools? How can children here get a better education that will prepare them for college or to be competitive in life?
This board is a group of people who will do just about anything to avoid working on that question and being held accountable for the answer.
That's too bad. All the babble surrounding the gay-straight alliance is just smoke. Real leaders would insist on making a considered decision, then moving on.
Off the tracks
And speaking of government agencies that have run off the rails, consider the Lake County Commission.
Commissioners voted 4-1 last week on behalf of gun store owner and Property Appraiser Carey Baker to oppose the refusal by cable giant Comcast to run his shop's advertisements.
Comcast merged a couple years ago with NBCUniversal, a media and entertainment company. The parent firm has long had a policy of not accepting ads for firearms.
The resolution, pushed by Commissioner Jimmy Conner, is to be sent onto the Legislature. Yeow. That vote is tinged with hypocrisy, isn't it?
Remember that Commission Chair Leslie Campione's husband, the darling of the tea party, was lauded by conservatives when he posted a sign on the door at his medical practice in spring 2010 advising patients who voted for President Obama to seek care elsewhere.
The story of Dr. Jack Cassell declining to treat those of an opposing political ideology and using his business to make a political point didn't meet with opposition from the County Commission. But when Comcast takes a political position, it's the evil liberal conspiracy. Never mind that access to guns is a controversial topic while access to medical care is generally preferred by all.
Apparently, using your business to make a political point is OK only if it agrees with your own philosophy.
At least one commissioner, Welton Cadwell, had the good sense to stay out of the fray. He voted no on the resolution, pointing out that the Legislature stripped counties of the ability to regulate guns in any way.
Let's consider what would happen if there weren't any advertisements for gun shops. Right. Nothing. People who wanted to buy them would continue to do so.
But what if all doctors decided to treat only those who agreed with them? One has to wonder whether Conner, who was recently hospitalized, would think it was just dandy if the physicians in the emergency room had taken his political pulse before deciding whether to treat him.
Lritchie@tribune.com. Lauren invites you to send her a friend request on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/laurenonlake.
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