School-bag ploy transparent


This letter appeared in the Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) on 24 August 1994.

This item may be cited as M. R. Franks, Letter to the Editor: School-bag ploy transparent, Baton Rouge Advocate, August 24, 1994, at 6B.

Copyright © 1994, M. R. Franks

Dear Editor:

Our esteemed school system has decreed that all students shall use transparent book bags beginning in 1995. Do I detect an act of desperation by a board under pressure to "do something," but painfully aware of its own impotence in the face of escalating crime and drugs?

When politicians feel pressure to take action and haven't a clue what action to take, their cosmetic "solution" generally meets the following criteria: (1) it inconveniences the majority of law-abiding citizens; (2) it erodes fundamental freedoms; and, (3) it utterly fails to control the targeted problem.

First we are subjected to curfews that punish decent teen-agers in the name of stopping gang violence, then gun control that disarms only law-abiding citizens in the name of stopping crime, now transparent book bags that intrude upon students' privacy in the name of stopping guns and drugs.

Soon we shall have national identity cards under the guise of stopping illegal immigration.

What ever happened to those "drug-free zones" and "gun-free zones" our politicians touted as the cure-all only a couple years ago?

Does anyone seriously believe these newest measures will control anything but us? When a doctor repeatedly prescribes ineffective medication, he or she is quickly branded as a quack. But when a politician does the same thing, apparently he or she is re-elected.

As we goose-step down the road to a totalitarian society that will make the former Soviet Union pale in comparison, is there not a politician amongst us honest enough to say: "We can't possibly control drugs or crime, in school or out, until we eliminate violence from television and from our national psyche, until we put prayer not just back in the classroom, but back in our hearts, until we end racism and give all people hope that education will pay off and, most importantly, until we restore the two-parent family to its rightful place as the foundation of civilization."

That our School Board eschews such eloquence and candor in favor of blatant manipulation of the people is unfortunate.

M. R. Franks
2 Swan St.
Baton Rouge

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