ScissorTales: Democrats' slide continues in Oklahoma

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: January 19, 2013
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Second verse,

same as the first

With the retirement of Superintendent Kirby Lehman, Jenks schools could have charted a new course. Instead, they promoted Deputy Superintendent Stacey Butterfield, who called Lehman a mentor. This is telling because Lehman's recent tenure has been marked by frivolous lawsuits and a disturbing attitude toward less-fortunate children. He championed filing lawsuits targeting the parents of special-needs students (which the state Supreme Court tossed) and griped about funding charter schools serving poor minority children (whose parents can't afford Jenks homes). In 2005, Jenks joined a teachers union lawsuit demanding a billion-dollar increase in school appropriations (also laughed out of court). Sadly, other troubled Tulsa-area schools are following a similar path. Union promoted a deputy superintendent and Tulsa replaced “retiring” Superintendent Keith Ballard ... with Keith Ballard for another year. Rather than moving ahead, this suggests that these schools will continue advocating an agenda that hasn‘t benefitted students.

Wilderness adventure

Moses never made it to the promised land. Matt Damon's movie “Promised Land” hasn't crossed the river into profitability. In fact, it's going further into the wilderness by the day. On its third weekend of release, this movie designed to raise awareness about hydraulic fracturing averaged only $774 per screen. By contrast, “Argo” averaged $2,021 per screen even though it's been out for 14 weeks. “Promised Land” has grossed less than $7 million to date, which is less than half of what it cost to make the movie. And that figure doesn't include extensive marketing costs. No doubt, Damon won't express regret for doing this regrettable movie and it won't cost him more than money. One of the Ten Commandments of Hollywood is to sometimes mix social awareness with all the big-budget movies whose characters ignore that “Thou Shalt Not Kill” thing.

Praise for a ‘mean' mom

A mother who caught her 16-year-old son driving while drunk is getting national attention and praise for finding a punishment that likely got the kid's attention: selling his car. In a Northern Wyoming News classified ad listing the car for $3,500 or best offer, the woman describes herself as “very angry” and the “meanest mother in Wyoming.” The move is drawing praise for several reasons. For one, underage drinking kills roughly 5,000 per year, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The number of drunk-driving deaths in 2011 totaled 9,878. But praise is due for a more fundamental reason: In a time when the protagonists of several reality TV shows are rich, spoiled brats, to see a parent truly laying down the law is a triumph for the whole culture. It seems others agree. When AOL Autos tried to contact the mother, they found her mailbox full.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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