Daily Archives: Feb. 21, 2013

Are zero-tolerance policies going too far?

The recent suspensions of young kids as a result of school districts’ zero-tolerance polices on weapons are renewing debate about whether these policies go too far. Among the examples cited in an Associated Press article was a kindergartner who was suspended after telling her friends she was going to shoot them with a Hello Kitty soap-bubble gun. While everyone agrees that schools need to be watchful, the mother of the bubble-gun girl complained that they are treating little kids like “mini-adults, making them grow up too fast, and robbing them of their imaginations.”

Will telecom bill haunt rural Kansas?

It was surprising that only one Kansas House member voted against a bill that would reduce required funding of the Kansas Universal Service Fund, which helps ensure affordable phone service throughout the state. Rep. Larry Hibbard, R-Toronto, expressed concern that it could result in higher phone rates for some rural areas. “This bill may come back to haunt rural Kansas,” he said. The bill is being pushed by AT&T and other telecommunications companies, and lawmakers seem eager to help. Rep. Joe Seiwert, R-Pretty Prairie, chairman of the House Utilities and Telecommunications Committee, described the measure as “an industry bill that they all worked very hard” to put together, the Lawrence Journal-World reported. A Republican bill brief said the bill “puts legislators in an easier position of not having to ‘choose between friends’” – the friends being the phone companies.