For some kids, graduating from high school is a significant achievement. They’ve overcome learning disabilities or survived dysfunctional families with missing or abusive parents.
Some students wake up hungry and must rely on the public school system to provide their next meal. It’s naive to think those situations don’t exist in Northfield. Those graduates deserve to be lauded.
For more privileged children, like my own, the occasion of high school graduation marks a milestone worthy of noting, a transition to adulthood and responsibility. But it’s hard for me to classify it as a huge accomplishment. So I was pleased that my daughter perused a store’s grad party decorations that exclaimed “You did it!” and wondered what all the fuss was about. She acknowledged that — for her — earning a high school diploma meant she didn’t drop out or flunk out. The real work lies ahead.
Unaffected by the sequester
Two of our elected officials used the occasion of graduation to congratulate young voters (and their families) and to offer their assistance in the years ahead. Without questioning their sincerity, this seems like a pretty good campaign tactic to climb on the graduation bandwagon.
State Rep. David Bly, an educator himself, sent his acknowledgement without spending taxpayer dollars. U.S. Rep. John Kline, on the other hand, sent a letter and a “Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition” using government funds.
“This mailing was prepared, published, and mailed at taxpayer expense,” it noted. Sending these to every family in his district must have cost thousand of dollars. Was it really necessary?
Brazilians rioted in the streets recently when the government raised bus fairs by ten cents, while spending millions to prepare for the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
In our country, the cost to drive on highways continues to escalate. My family is in the midst of an East Coast road trip as I write this and the road tolls are much higher than a few years ago. One toll plaza on a busy stretch of highway in Maryland siphoned $6 per vehicle. There were eight toll booths processing 8-10 cars per minute when we passed through. I’ll have to withdraw more cash from my bank account just to get home.
Sam Gett is Editor and Publisher at the Northfield News. He can be reached at 507-645-1112 or by email at email@example.com.