They stepped forward
Some elected officials decide it's time to end their tenure in office. Others lose re-election. In either case, they have had the courage to step forward into the public arena, where the arrows outnumber the pats on the back.
This week, the Sentinel ran articles on two leaders - Fairmont City Councilman Harlan Gorath and Fairmont Area School Board member Joe Kurtzman - whose service is ending. We thank them, as well as the other elected officials in the area who won't be back to serve in 2013. Thanks for all you have done to try to find solutions for your fellow citizens.
Utilizing new technology
Teachers and students at Fairmont Area Schools are definitely partaking in the 21st century. Technology has changed, and will continue to change, the way kids learn. That is evident in classrooms, where things such as Smart Boards, tablet computers and Kindles are becoming common.
Children generally adapt quickly to these tools. They also relate to them, because these are the kinds of instruments around them at home and in their peer groups. It only makes sense that they be used in school too.
A 'pessimistic' view?
Our congressman, Tim Walz, is a former teacher and gets high ratings from the National Rifle Association. Last week, though, he said the group's suggestion to boost security at the nation's schools amounted to a "pessimistic world view."
What did the NRA suggest? That each school have an armed security guard, someone who can react to any outside threats posed to staff and students.
We have said each school should decide for itself what solutions serve it best. Some schools already have armed guards. There's nothing "pessimistic" about it; it is a response to reality. What's Walz's solution?
Be safe on New Year's
Perhaps the biggest party night of the year is upon us. New Year's Eve is meant to be celebrated. We expect people will go out and have a good time.
We hope they will have the good sense to designate a driver. Doing so ensures safety on the roads, and will eliminate the possibility of being arrested for a DWI, even for those who feel like they are capable of getting behind the wheel.
We would hate for the festive nature of the night to be transformed into a tragedy for anyone, anywhere. Please enjoy, but stay safe.