April 26, 1996 in City

Our Daughters’ Views Thursday Was Take Your Daughter To Work Day. We Invited Some Of The Spokesman-Review’s Guests To Try Their Hand At Editorial Writing. Here’s What They Had To Say.

 

Boys should be included in day

Take Your Daughter to Work Day was started to expose girls to occupations which might interest them. The idea was that girls needed a day to be shown that they could do anything, because boys already knew this. Take Your Daughter to Work Day is a great idea, but it should be expanded to boys, too.

Many children do not know what their parents do all day at work, they just know where they work. Take Your Daughter to Work Day is an excellent way to show your daughter what you do, but when do boys get to find out?

We say that in this country everything is equal for everyone and that no one gets anything that others don’t also have the opportunity to get. Take Your Daughter to Work Day is an example of how this is not true; it is a special day for girls only, NO BOYS ALLOWED. Boys and girls are supposed to be treated equally, so why not let the boys take part in this day too?

Kathryn Kafentzis/Age 15

Stop the grass burning

If Idaho is going to be stubborn and continue to burn grass-seed fields, the U.S. government should step in and order farmers throughout our region to stop the burning.

Other air polluters, such as cars, factories and wood stoves, have been required to pollute less. I feel it’s the farmers’ turn to do their part. It seems to me that Idaho grass farmers don’t care that their smoke blows into Spokane, Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene. They most likely care more about the money they need to earn.

The farmers aren’t paying enough attention to all the health problems they are causing. Some farmers have denied their smoke is causing problems, but I know for a fact that it does. For one week last September I had to stay home from school, because smoke from the grass fields made my asthma flare up. The dark clouds of stinky smoke create an unpleasant atmosphere and cause many people - even without asthma - to be extremely miserable. The smoke also makes tourists want to avoid our area during the late summer.

To end the burning, farmers may be able to sell their straw as animal feed, grow a different crop, or grow a different variety of grass seed. It does not work to burn grass fields when the wind is blowing away from Spokane. Then the smoke blows into Lake Pend Oreille, ruining a popular summer vacation area.

The burning must stop. It might reduce the amount of money farmers make, and that’s too bad for them. Lives and health are more important than growing grass seed for lawns.

Beth Webster/Age 13

Pets teach new tricks

I didn’t have a pet until a couple of months ago.

My Dad finally gave in and told me I could have a fish. It turns out we ended up getting a dog behind my Dad’s back. He didn’t like Cozmo (our dog) until a little while ago.

Now, I know that animals are little treasures you can’t live without.

A pet is there when you go to school and when you come home. They show their love by licking you and cuddling with you when you’re down. They’re a special friend when you feel that everyone is mad at you.

Whenever Dad threatens to get rid of Cozmo, I just say, “Look at his face, and you’ll know why we got him.” Dad will look at his little face and see dirt on his nose and an innocent look. Then, he lets us keep him.

A pet allows a kid to show responsibility. Even when he chews on things - every now and then - you’re proud when he’s obedient.

A.J. Elyse Oliveria/Age 9

Don’t judge by clothes

The question of school uniforms has become subject of controversy throughout Spokane. I understand that certain adults believe that if dressed the same, children will behave uniformly. But a child’s attitude doesn’t change just because he or she is dressed in a certain way. Children will always find a way to express themselves. School uniforms can’t stop that sense of individuality.

It has been said that students who are all dressed the same would be judged more fairly by their teachers and peers. But dressing in uniforms won’t change a thing. The attitudes will remain, and prejudice will remain as it always has. Instead of changing the way people look, we should try to change the way they think. Teachers should look at students with an open mind and see them for who they are, not how they look. Students should learn to accept each other. And if we can really stop seeing people for what they wear we’ll win bigger than we ever could in a uniform.

Darcy Camden/Age 14

Look beyond TV

A girl I know was born into a TV-less family. For more than 11 years, she lived outside “the loop,” able only to catch glimpses of programs when invited to a friend’s house.

For Christmas last year, she received a television set. Now, the tube is forever at the tip of her tongue, and advertisement jingles are her favorite melodies. Can her life ever return to the way it was?

There is hope for her yet. This week, April 24-30, is the second annual National TV-Turnoff Week. Many people are worried about their happy lives on the sofa. But the purpose of this “fasting” week is not to steal the little black box away from every home across the nation. It’s to open the nation’s eyes to how much of life is wasted on cheesy sitcoms and soaps.

Not all television is mindless junk, of course. Many programs offer interesting facts and images. Children can learn as much from a single nature program as they do from a science class at school.

But National TV-Turnoff Week hopes to bring families together outside the clutches of TV. This week, invite your parents, children and/or neighbors to get to know one another again; plan a household activity, anything from a simple card game or puzzle to organizing a kids’ bowling league. Get out of the house to attend a concert or go for a run. Or stay at home and bake cookies for a friend. Projects don’t have to cost anything, besides the time spent on them.

I feel that this week is an excellent idea, especially for children. The average American youth watches 1,500 hours of television a year. What would you do to add two months to your life every year?

Kelly Guilfoil/Age 13

Big cats a danger

Last week 5-year-old Kannon Langley had a terrifying run-in with Charlie, the 150-pound pet cougar. I ask myself, why have a pet cougar in the first place? Cougars, like other wild animals, hunt and fight to survive. They’re not your basic old house cats.

People keep cougars, Bengal tigers, bobcats and lions because Spokane County has no laws banning them. These wild animals should be left in their natural habitat.

Spokane County officials ordered Charlie be put to sleep so that a veterinarian could test him for rabies. Dr. John Beare, health district director, said that there is no other way to verify rabies in a wild animal. That was probably the right choice.

In the end Charlie didn’t have rabies. I, an animal lover, feel bad he had to die. Now, however, Kevin and Kris Langley can feel relieved that their son does not have rabies. So can the rest of us.

Megan Neely/Age 11

Sharma’s karma

Sharma Shields obviously made a mistake when she was arrested on April 7 for driving under the influence of alcohol. But members of the community didn’t conduct themselves perfectly, either.

Shields, the Ferris High School Lilac Princess, promptly admitted and took responsibility for her mistake. However, even after the Lilac princess made her apology, she was put under intense scrutiny from newspaper, television, and radio. Even the Lilac Festival officials made sloppy decisions about Sharma’s crown.

The media and the Spokane community have been putting a lot of unneeded weight on the senior’s shoulders. She has been through more press than most adults. And perhaps what is ironic is that Shields is probably ten times more mature than most adults, by admitting her mistake. If Festival officials had just made a decision and kept with it (even if this meant taking away her crown), it all could have been over in a few days.

This whole thing has been blown out of proportion. Everyone knows that Sharma should not have drank that beer. But should we make this news item more than it really is?

Kate Kershner/Age 12

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