Tolerance, not hate
Editor's note: This editorial appeared in a recent edition of the Tonganoxie Junior High School newspaper, following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C. The editorial was written by Kara Coffee, editor of the weekly publication.
By Kara Coffee
Editor, Tonganoxie Junior High Newspaper
If you ask a typical junior high student what he or she thinks America's course of action should be in reaction to last Tuesday's tragedy, their answer may be somewhere along the lines of "I think we should blow up their country. " and in there somewhere might be a line or two about deporting all Arabs. Not only is this a little rash, but also mildly disturbing. With some Americans already blaming last Tuesday's horrific events on all Arabs, hate crimes against Muslims have already occurred in our cities. What the "I know everything" teen-agers need to understand is that just because one small group of individuals who belong to a certain ethnic background do something of this nature doesn't mean that their whole society is identical in their ideas and beliefs. Many of us have this preconceived notion that all terrorists are from some Middle Eastern country, but in reality a terrorist could be anyone, even an American, as was the case in the Oklahoma City bombing. As teen-agers, we need to be non-judgmental toward others, and be tolerant of others' beliefs, ideas and way of life. Using stereotypes, being malicious to other ethnicities and using racial slurs makes us no different that the terrorists we despise.
Emporia State student member of debate team
Emporia State junior Eli Crittenden helped the Hornets to a second-place finish in the junior varsity division at the Wichita State Debate Tournament on Sept. 29. Crittenden, a Tonganoxie graduate, teamed with Wichita sophomore Jennifer Banta for the placing. The two dropped the championship to Texas-San Antonio 2-1. Crittenden was also named the tournament's top speaker.
Employees of SRS
honored for service
Teri Brittingham and Tonya Ketchem, both of whom work in the Leavenworth Social and Rehabilitation Services office, have been honored for their length of service with the state.
Brittingham, a social work specialist, received a 30-year service pin and award. She began her work with SRS in Franklin County as a social worker and handles adoptions along with child abuse investigations in the Leavenworth office.
A resident of Leavenworth since 1982, Brittingham represents SRS on the Leavenworth County Child Abuse Prevention Council. She is also a member of the Lansing Lions Club and the American BusinessWomen's Association.
Ketchem, a former Tonganoxie resident who now lives in Leavenworth, has worked for the state for 10 years in various state-affiliated agencies and is a program support worker at the Leavenworth SRS office.