It always leaves us scratching our collective heads just a little when agencies invest more time and/or money in debating the law than complying with it.
Case in point today is the Kennewick School District.
(But it really could be the cities of Kennewick, Mesa or Prosser. They've all had a court straighten them out for different issues in recent memory.)
The Kennewick School Board has taken the long trip on what appears to be an inevitable path, but at least it hasn't been a costly one.
When it comes to school clubs, most people are in favor of the business-oriented DECA club, the service-oriented Key Club and other noncontroversial associations.
But a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) group raises hackles for some.
The point is that anything having the word "gay" in its title will elicit visceral reactions, but that's irrelevant to the district's legal responsibilities.
Of course, the issue here isn't whether the club should be allowed on campus. That's already a done decision -- likely one that wasn't arrived at easily.
The issue now is whether all clubs have equal access to school announcements and bulletin boards.
Actually that shouldn't be much of a dilemma either, since the federal Equal Access Act already has made that decision for school districts.
This is a problem the school board inherited. Years ago, the decision was made to create two classifications of school clubs, the haves and the have nots. One group has access to its school's communication system, one has not.
We're not sure how a club got classified in one group or the other. The have nots also include religious clubs.
Religion and sexual orientation are emotional topics -- but the school district's obligation is clear cut.
Kennewick School Board has made the right (and only possible) decision.