So I got a chance to speak with State Senator and Lawrence County Commissioner Bob Ewing at this morning's District 31 crackerbarrel at BHSU here in Spearfish this morning. He says he likes House Bill 1087, the school gunslinger bill. He says our schools are safe, we have great teachers, but some remote school districts really feel a need for the protection of lethal weapons in their school buildings. He thus wants to make every tool available to those few schools who feel a need for more security. As long it's done with total local control, says Senator Ewing, he's o.k. with it.
I posed Senator Ewing this philosophical question: Suppose a school district was asking for the authority to expel all openly gay students. Suppose that school district contended that unique local conditions, like strong religious views, meant that the presence of openly gay students in their school buildings caused serious classroom disruption. For the sake of maintaining a safe educational atmosphere for the most students possible, the school district decided that it needed to expel any student known to be homosexual. Would the Senator be o.k. with giving school districts total local control over expelling homosexual students.
After a long pause and a few tentative phrases, Senator Ewing said he'd "have to think about it."
Have to think about it.
That's what we teachers do: ask questions to get students thinking. But Senator Ewing, some answers don't require much thinking. The answer to my question is simple, found (among other places) in the South Dakota Constitution, Article 8, Section 1:
The stability of a republican form of government depending on the morality and intelligence of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature to establish and maintain a general and uniform system of public schools wherein tuition shall be without charge, and equally open to all; and to adopt all suitable means to secure to the people the advantages and opportunities of education.
Equally open to all. I don't see except in towns that hate fags there, Senator Ewing.
Local control be darned: expelling gay kids for being gay is not a "suitable means" for securing education for all. Neither is putting more firearms in our schools.