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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Trivial pursuit?

Watch out second graders. The Boston Herald is on the trail of your "trivial" class projects.

The Mad Hatters of Herald Square apparently forgot to read the Massachusetts Constitution -- and the unique right of free petition, where anyone can ask an elected lawmaker to file a bill -- before singling out second graders at the Crocker Elementary School in Fitchburg.

The Tea Party Newsletter is in high dudgeon this morning, mocking lawmakers over the host of strange bills filed annually -- and that never go anywhere. For example, Jim Stergios, director of the conservative Pioneer Institute think tank, harrumphs:
“We’ve lost hundreds of thousands of jobs over the last decade, and we are talking about these things. Many of them are so low on the scale of priorities as to be laughable.”
Funny, I spent many a year covering the Massachusetts Legislature and I don't recall covering a lot of talk about these perennials.

Many of the 5,388 bills -- down considerably from years past -- are not worth the paper they used to be printed on. But they are filed because citizens have the right to petition the Legislature and most die every two years when a legislative session ends.

Others, like the Crocker School's effort to recognize the spring peeper as the official state amphibian, are great class projects on how a bill becomes law. It's a great civics lesson that apparently don't get taught much any more -- certainly not to newspaper editors.

The Herald's decision to include a picture of an earnest class and teacher as part of its snarky putdown of the Massachusetts Constitution does suggest we may need to amend another state law: the anti-bulling statutes.

Clearly newspapers should learn to pick on someone their own size.

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Anonymous HesterPrynne said...

Tea Party fave Fred Barrows filed a bill this session to require kids to be taught civics.

What these kids are doing is a great example of civics education and a tradition besides.

So, go Crocker.

February 06, 2011 12:24 PM  

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