This week I was going
to write a positive column filled with praise for the Massachusetts
Senate, which finally addressed the illegal immigration issue.
Since I had assumed
that a state legislator would have to be run over by a drunken,
unlicensed illegal before other legislators would finally do
something, I was pleasantly surprised by the vote.
Oh wait, state rep.
Michael Moran's car was rear-ended by a allegedly drunken,
unlicensed illegal just before the vote. But since the liberal
Brighton legislator still supports illegal activity, the motivation
for the vote may have been a Rasmussen poll showing 7 out of 10
respondents support a crackdown on the hiring of illegals.
According to the State
House News Service, the Senate budget amendment bars contractors
from public projects if they violate federal law on employing
illegal immigrants, and requires state contractors to verify
employees' citizenship status. It also creates new penalties for
falsifying state IDs and driver's licenses, prevents legally
eligible public housing applicants from being displaced by non-legal
residents, and explicitly bans access to lower in-state tuition
rates at state colleges for illegal immigrants.
But I'm hearing that
the House and governor may not go along with the Senate action, so
the good-news column must wait.
bad-news column. Last Saturday morning, Chip turned on his police
scanner to learn about the storm-related power failure, and heard
the Marblehead police talking about vandalism at the high school
following the senior prom.
By Monday we'd
learned that on Friday evening the seniors had held their banquet in
the school cafeteria and the next day police found salad dressing
and milk decorating the school walls. Ceiling tiles were strewn
about. In addition, parts of the exterior of the new
multi-million-dollar building were "in disrepair," including a light
pole snapped off at the base that was found in the middle of the
roadway and five double-paned window squares that had been smashed.
Overall, the damage could total thousands of dollars.
According to the local
weekly, the high school's acting co-principal, Kristina Kyles, was
grateful that "the vandalism did not disrupt graduation, which was
held at the school on Sunday.
"By Sunday morning, you
had to look for the damage," she told the Marblehead Reporter. "It
would be hard pressed for any student this morning to even notice,"
though she acknowledged that the actions were "disrespectful."
According to the paper,
Kyles "noted that the school department is taking the incident
seriously, and that officials are having confidential talks with
parents, adults and administrators about it."
No, Ms. Co-principal.
"Disrespectful" is talking back to grown-ups, not smashing windows.
Maybe we can put the
food fight in the same "youthful exuberance" category as
toilet-papering a home, egging cars, and graffiti, and could simply
have made the senior class clean up the mess. On Graduation Day and
instead of having graduation ceremonies.
Certainly the damage
should not have been cleaned up for them; it should have been there,
on display, for the graduating class's parents and grandparents to
Smashing tiles and
windows and breaking a light pole are malicious damage, and the
criminals should be arrested. Perhaps the crime could be removed
from their records if and when the thousands of dollars are paid by
their parents. If those parents care about their kids, they'd make
them pay it back with their first paychecks or "weekend fun" college
"confidential talks." The building belongs to the taxpayers, who are
still paying for it via a previous Prop. 2½ override, and the
taxpayers deserve to know who was responsible for the damages.
If the perps can't be
found or named, let all students know why thousands of dollars just
disappeared from the school budget for next year. Or maybe Ms. Kyles
could pay it from her acting salary.
Of course the vandals
were "disrespectful." Why should they respect property that they
didn't have to pay for, that they were handed by taxpayers, just as
they have been handed so many things in their young lives? I know
this lack of respect and appreciation isn't just here in Marblehead.
Many kids everywhere are taught that they're "entitled."
Instead, when they
start high school, some educator who cares about them and the future
of this country should visit freshman classrooms and tell them this:
Thanks to Thomas
Jefferson, our great country early on determined that a
democracy can only exist with an educated citizenry, so you get
a taxpayer-funded education from people who don't know you, yet
hope you will grow up to be a responsible citizen for the sake
of us all.
So it has been
determined that you'll have a basic weatherproof school building
with someplace for you to sit and write, teachers paid
market-based rates and benefits, and basic supplies. We throw in
school sports and other activities to help socialize you, and
maybe create a competitive spirit that will serve you and the
Other than your
parents, no one owes you anything. Take responsibility for
learning what you'll need to support yourself. Show some
appreciation and respect for those who sacrifice for your
Bring your own
lunch and don't throw it at the walls.