When a child misbehaves in a classroom, the situation should be handled by educators, not by the police.
That’s the idea behind a bill under consideration by South Carolina lawmakers. The bill would narrow the state law against disturbing school.
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The law was intended to protect students at schools from outsiders who threatened their safety or who disrupted the education environment. The law wasn’t intended to apply to students within the school itself.
But it has been applied to them. And the effect has been to criminalize the misbehavior of children.
South Carolinians remember the video from 2015 of a deputy sheriff tossing a female Spring Valley High School student across a room.
Refusing to hand over a cellphone is not tantamount to a crime. It’s an act of sullen teenage rebellion. But when we classify it as a crime under the disturbing schools law, we end up with a much greater offense — the mistreatment of a child as a criminal.
Nuclear cost overruns
South Carolinians have placed tremendous confidence in this incredibly complex and expensive project (to build two new nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer site in Jenkinsville) because it will bolster the state’s electricity generating capacity in a relatively clean, low-carbon way. That trust is codified in the state’s Base Load Review Act, which allows utilities to raise rates before and during construction of new plants in order to save customers money in the long run.…
Fortunately, much of the uncertainty SCE&G ratepayers face was moderated by an agreement last year to cap some key reactor construction expenses at a total that was billions over the initial estimate — but could be billions less than its final cost. That compromise seems more and more valuable each day. But SCE&G should still reassure its ratepayers that additional costs beyond the capped value won’t be passed along to them.
State lawmakers should also take a hard look at the Base Load Review Act. Changes may be needed to ensure that expensive new generating projects provide sufficient value to ratepayers to justify their construction costs — including unforeseen expenses — and to shift more financial responsibility to utilities for cost overruns and delays.
Hatred among us
Benjamin McDowell, a 28-year-old convicted felon, had been imprisoned on burglary charges and connected with white supremacists while behind bars. There, he apparently identified with Dylann Roof and made plans to carry out another Roof-like killing of black people.…
Thankfully, McDowell fell into an undercover trap as he sought to purchase a handgun to carry out his plan.
He will be returned to where he belongs — behind bars — and no doubt will continue to be closely monitored, along with the people he connects with on the outside.
Yes, it is a shame that such hatred based on race — McDowell, like Roof, also lashed out at Jews — remains so well rooted in our nation. And it is a great shame the Palmetto State has a difficult time shaking the perception that it is largely occupied by racists. The Dylann Roofs and Benjamin McDowells in South Carolina are punks — evil punks, but punks just the same. They are needy, in want of belonging, and find their need nurtured and fed by hate groups. That is not to discount the genuine evil that very well seems to reside within them as individuals, but it does serve as a reminder of the powerful force cult-like groups have.
Much remains to be done to curb the hatred within our human race, but in the meantime it is evident that due diligence on the part of law enforcement is key to stemming the unnecessary flow of blood fomented by hate, mistrust and ignorance. Not all will be found out, or found out in time to prevent an act of violence, but we remain grateful when someone like McDowell is prevented from killing innocent people and claiming his misguided place in the annals of history.