Daily Archives: Nov. 6, 2012

Open thread on election

Sex with a student is not a ‘relationship’

Last week offered two needed reminders that teachers who have sex with students don’t just exercise poor judgment, cross an ethical line and violate a public trust. They also break the law and risk jail time. The Kansas Court of Appeals upheld a state law that prohibits sexual contact between a teacher and an older teen student, noting “the disparity of power inherent in the teacher/student relationship” as it affirmed the conviction of former Wichita Northwest High School choir teacher Charles Edwards for having had sex with a then-18-year-old student. Also on Friday, Kurt M. Brundage, 33, got 32 months in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child while he was an English teacher at Wichita East High School. His victim, who was a 15-year-old former East student at the time, said at Brundage’s sentencing hearing that she wished people wouldn’t use the word “relationship” when describing what happened in her case. That’s an excellent point. There are much better words for it, starting with “sex crime.”

New revenue estimates will be another big event

The election isn’t the only big event happening Tuesday. The state revenue estimators are meeting in Topeka to make the forecasts to be used to help set next year’s state budget. This will be the first official forecasts since Gov. Sam Brownback signed a large tax cut, which goes into effect Jan. 1. Staff from the Legislative Research Department, which earlier calculated that the tax cut would result in a large revenue shortfall, will be part of the estimating group. So will leaders of the state’s Division of the Budget and Department of Revenue, who have tried to downplay the impact of the tax cuts. The meeting also comes on the heels of new numbers showing that so far this fiscal year the state has collected $22 million less than expected. And it follows complaints by Democrats about the Revenue Department having sent out, less than a week before the election, 146,000 letters (which cost taxpayers $52,000) to business owners in Kansas championing the tax cuts.

Bikers recognized what matters most – helping kids

Though some people were disappointed when the Wichita Toy Run decided for safety reasons to no longer host a 15-mile motorcycle parade, it was great that so many bikers turned out for the rally Sunday in Delano. The reformatted event allowed people to park their bikes in a closed section of West Douglas, where they could visit with other bikers, listen to live music and eat chili. What didn’t change was the worthy cause. The bikers and others brought toys and donations that will be distributed by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, the Salvation Army and the Kansas Food Bank. Kudos to area bikers for adapting to the change and recognizing what matters most – helping needy kids and families.