Et Cetera …

How did things get here?

Fairmont Area Schools is doing the right thing providing free breakfast and making sure every student gets a hot lunch. The cost of these meals is essentially covered at no cost to local taxpayers.

Educators know that kids learn better when they are not hungry. Kids who do not learn will not grow up to be contributing members of society.

But questions about that society linger. Families seems troubled financially and otherwise. And growing government intervention does not stem a growing problem. Perhaps broad public policy reforms aimed at putting power and responsibility back in the hands of parents is what is needed.

Task force set to meet

Blue Earth Area Schools will hold its first anti-bullying task force meeting Monday. We hope those who are concerned about bullying at Blue Earth Area will attend in order to maintain the active role they have created in the discussions.

At this point, whatever scrutiny has fallen upon Blue Earth Area will probably never be met with completely open and public answers, because the district cannot discuss private matters related to individual students. But district leaders can review policies and actions to make sure every complaint of bullying is treated with respect and thoroughly investigated.

‘Bullying’ is troubling

All schools these days are taking many steps to counter bullying and working to ensure safe environments within their walls.

Fairmont Area has more than 200 security cameras in its two buildings. It also educates staff and students about bullying and how to prevent it.

The school has a written bullying policy, and allows for anonymous reporting of bullying via a tip box. Students also are always free to report bullying to staff.

We have to admit, it is troubling to consider all that must be done to address bullying, which is the use of strength to harm or intimidate those who are weaker. It’s fair to say “bullying” is an ill mental state.

Certainly one valuable lesson to teach children — and adults — is that if the strong choose to help others, that is helpful and good on many levels. If they choose to intimidate, it is not.