Thumbs up; thumbs down, March 13

Published 8:46 am Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Thumbs Up

Danville teachers ‘walk in’

Instead of leaving their kids with substitutes for a day, teachers in the Danville school system managed to protest Kentucky’s budget plans Thursday morning and still be at the heads of their classrooms a few minutes later.

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Whatever you think of House Bill 200 or Kentucky’s pension crises, the ability for the people to be involved and have a say in their own government is the most fundamental of all American values. The teachers who protested legislation they believes breaks the state’s promise to care for them were not only speaking up for their own interests, but standing up as model U.S. citizens who participate in their government.

If the teachers had felt the need to join others by traveling to Frankfort to protest in person, we couldn’t have blamed them. But they instead held a “walk in” protest here at home, making their priorities clear in more than one way.

These teachers want the state to change its plans for their retirements, but they also want to make sure our kids get the best education possible — they want to do their jobs well. We like that.

Thumbs Up 

Listening and communicating on jail

Last week, consultants with Brandstetter Carroll listened to members of the public in Boyle and Mercer counties explain the problems they see with the Boyle County Detention Center. Then they listened to officials working in the criminal justice system provide their unique perspectives during a meeting of the local Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

All three meetings contained useful, honest opinions from people with all kinds of different life experiences. The members of the public and the criminal justice officials don’t see eye-to-eye on everything, but they don’t need to.

Brandstetter Carroll’s consultants are the experts — they are the ones that need to be providing answers, especially considering the $75,000 price tag Boyle and Mercer’s fiscal courts are paying them.

But they can’t come up with answers that work for us unless they know what we want and what we’d be willing to accept. That’s why we appreciated so many honest opinions being expressed during last week’s meetings. We think the consultants now have a better idea of what Boyle’s and Mercer’s communities are like, and what we care about. That will make the solutions they eventually propose much more likely to work.

Thumbs Up

Boyle drama students land $10,000

Boyle County High School drama students found out they had earned a $10,000 grant in dramatic fashion last week. Principal Mark Wade joined them in class, seemingly with bad news. Instead, he revealed the students had received a $10,000 grant for the school’s theater program from the Education Theatre Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to shaping lives through theater education.

To get the grant, students had to write, film, edit and produce a video celebrating their theater program, so they played a huge role in earning the 10 grand.

Often, we talk about education funding in terms of how much it costs. In this case, we get to talk about how much the students earned for their school. Congratulations, BCHS drama students!