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Prosser schools open on time

Prosser school children started school Tuesday as planned after the district and the teachers union reached an agreement, averting a threatened strike. Only days prior to reaching an agreement the sides were very far apart on extra pay. The union was seeking $650,000, more than double what the district originally offered and more than $50,000 in pay increases for extra duties, more than 10 times the district proposal. Considering how far apart the two sides were reaching an agreement in a relatively short period of time demonstrates a commitment on both sides to put the welfare of Prosser children first.

Professor restricts speech

Washington Statue University professor Selena Lester Breikss threatened to punish students for using terms she deemed as offensive in her “Women & Popular Culture” class on the Pullman campus. “This includes ‘The Man,’ ‘Colored People,’ ‘Illegals/Illegal Aliens,’ ‘Tranny’ and so on — or referring to women/men as females or males,” according to the class syllabus. “Repeated use of oppressive and hateful language will be handled accordingly — including but not limited to removal from the class without attendance or participation points, failure of the assignment, and — in extreme cases — failure for the semester,” Breikss wrote. Thankfully, after a conservative publication brought the issue to light, WSU’s Interim President issued a statement that no student will have points docked for using those terms. Breikss obviously doesn’t understand her role is to encourage free thought and speech, not to control and indoctrinate.

Handlng a tough call well

During the seven months since Pasco police officers shot and killed Antonio Zambrano-Montes many have questioned Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant’s ability to reach a fair decision claiming he was too close to Pasco law enforcement. Wednesday, during a public and lengthy press conference Sant announced he would not file criminal charges against the officers. Often when potentially unpopular decisions in emotionally charged cases are announced press conferences are brief and few if any questions are fielded. Given neither side is going to change the opinion of the other it not surprising that’s the case. It would have been an easier path for Sant to follow than the one he chose, which was to participate in a lengthy and occasionally contentious discussion with those who disagreed with his decision. But his willingness to engage detractors and openness about the process through which that decision was reached goes a long ways in rebuilding relations between the Franklin County justice system and a portion of the citizenry they represent. Whether or not you agree with his decision, you have to admire the way he handled the announcement.