College sexual assaults
With all the publicity of campus sexual assaults now on the national agenda, I was surprised to see that universities at large campuses investigate them with their own campus police (9-28, A4, “University is seeing surge in reports of sex offenses”). Why do it internally instead of bringing an outside agency?
Are the campus police equipped to investigate quickly and have the resources to do as good a job as the local police department? And is there a conflict of interest when the university has its own department investigating?
Are they going to be objective and have authority to arrest and detain students? Are the guilty going to be treated as criminals and convicted as such or are they going to be treated as bad students and punished outside the normal courts of law?
Better to treat all sexual assaults on campus as well as off campus the same way.
Johnson County wow
I’ve lived all my life in Kansas City. Usually north of 135th Street, south of 85th Street and between Metcalf and Prospect avenues.
I recently went to Blue Valley North and Blue Valley Northwest high schools to watch my granddaughter play volleyball. All of my children and grandchildren went to parochial schools. I coached four sports and have been to just about every field and gymnasium in the city, or so I thought.
My question? Has the governor ever been to Johnson County?
Driving south on Antioch Road, which is a six-lane street with left-turn lanes making eight lanes and wide sidewalks on both sides of the street, I was really impressed. Going to both schools was a real eye-opener — lighted fields for every sport imaginable with stands.
Gymnasiums for practice and for playing. Basketball goals, volleyball nets and everything you need for those sports at a push of a button from the ceiling.
The first time one of my friends moved to Johnson County was in 1952. The last was a neighbor who lived down the street and had a boy and a girl, the oldest just starting school. That was two years ago.
At least 50 or more families and none seemed to care about higher taxes. We have the Chiefs, the Royals, the Truman Sports Complex and a great Kansas City Zoo.
Kansas City has a lot going for it, but nothing like Johnson County.
Joseph T. Purcell
Bishop Finn review
We have all been learning about the vulgar abuse that that has been going on at the KC-St. Joseph Diocese. Many young lives have been damaged.
This has been going on for many years. We know:
1. There have been criminal convictions for the abuse.
2. Warnings were reported over many years to the diocese that altar boys were in danger.
3. Bishop Robert Finn was convicted in 2012 of failing to report to authorities the warnings and possible abuse.
4. The diocese has been fined $11 million.
5. A priest has been convicted abuse and sent to jail for 50 years.
The Star reported that the Vatican has dispatched a church official to Kansas City to examine the leadership of Bishop Finn (9-30, A1, “Vatican emissary reviews bishop”).
Hello. Is there anyone at home at the Vatican? Where was that question 40 to 50 years ago before so many young lives were damaged and/or lost?
On Sept. 24 in the 913 section, Emily Parnell wrote a funny article, “Thanks for those iPads, educators. Now I’ve got another not-so-great idea ... puppies for every kid,” concerning spending in Shawnee Mission Schools. While the gist was meant to be tongue in cheek, the first few lines showed a common misconception about how money can be used in our schools.
She indicated that the powers that be...slashed staff and specialists to give every child an iPad or laptop. The fact is that the schools are not allowed to spend money on staff and specialists from the money collected locally called capital outlay.
Capital outlay money can be used only for infrastructure like refurbishing buildings and buying computers. Not one dime of that money can be used to pay teachers, librarians, textbooks, and the thousand other things that go into the classroom.
Money that goes to the classroom is directly controlled from Topeka, and that money has been shrinking. That’s why moms like Emily have noticed the reduced staff. It is going on across the state.
This is important because the governor’s race and others may be decided by what the public believes about education funding. That is why campaign ads are so confusing. Who do we believe? Ads paid for by supporters of the current governor say he has put $271 million into education.
Moms like Emily and grandparents have seen class sizes go up and staff being reduced. Where did that $271 million go?
The bulk of it went to the state’s retirement fund (KPERS). That was about $150 million. Another $94 million went to property tax relief for property poor districts. The rest? Did you know the state is now counting gate receipts as money toward the educational cost per pupil here in Kansas?
It’s pretty creative accounting, but not one dime of any of this can be used in the classroom to pay teachers or reduce class sizes. As a former school board member for Blue Valley and former vice president of the Kansas Association of School Boards, I have gotten to know many board members and superintendents across the state.
They aren’t frivolous decision-makers. Most all have the best interest of students and parents as top priority.
So when superintendents and school board members say money to classrooms has been cut they are telling the truth.
Former Blue Valley
Former state legislator
To send letters
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