The American Heritage College Dictionary defines a hero as “a person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life; a person noted for special achievement in a particular field.”
One of the pleasures of writing this column comes when I meet someone who has read it and expresses appreciation for it. The only thing that makes that better is when someone offers a suggestion for a topic that they would like to see discussed in a future column. That occurred this week when it was suggested that there was an article in a Sunday paper that I should write about.
February is Walk for Warmth Month. In Michigan, that means putting on your winter coats and walking shoes. Walking for warmth is our community’s way of saying to those who are less fortunate, “We know that it is very important for you to be warm.”
Recently I read an article in The Grand Rapids Press regarding the Michigan laws on expulsion of students more commonly known as the “zero tolerance” discipline policies. These are well intended laws originally passed in the hope that they would make schools safer and more orderly for students and staff. However, after years of use, there are concerns about some unintended consequences. As a board of education member for many years, I can tell you that expelling students is one of the most difficult responsibilities that I fulfill. I rarely sleep well after we have expelled a student, even when I agree that expulsion is the only option we had.
Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is one of our state’s most beneficial, common sense laws. For almost four decades now, citizens and journalists alike have been able to stand on near equal footing with public bodies by having the law behind them when requesting public documents.
With Mother Nature’s winter tirade in full effect, the Greenville area has been impacted over the last few weeks with large amounts of snowfall, bitter cold temperatures and wind chills so extreme that just opening your front door to get your newspaper or checking your mailbox is highly unpleasant.
I have now been writing this column at the invitation of The Daily News for about a year. It has been a challenge, a privilege and a pleasure. The greatest gift my parents gave to me was the joy of learning and a passion for education. Today I am concerned that public education, one of the greatest accomplishments in our country, is under attack. There are those who disagree with me and believe that it should be replaced by a system run by the private sector, usually with a goal of making money on the enterprise.
Do you want the best for your child? It seems every parent does. Every family wants children to be healthy, be happy and feel loved. Parents wants their children to have opportunities to succeed.
Tonight’s State of the Union address by President Barack Obama should be well worth watching, as it figures to be one of the late lunges to lock in legacies for his time in office.
We’ve been keeping an eye on several local items of unfinished business.