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Wednesday, April 8, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Guest Opinion

Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Maia Espinoza: School closures highlight failure of public school system to fully embrace online learning

Microsoft, Android, Amazon – our state is home to some of the most innovative online inventors in the world. Yet, expenditures on technology in public education have only worked to maintain the status quo rather than elevate the quality of education available to our students. With the dramatic scenario we face today of statewide school closures for the remainder of the year, those in charge are just now discussing options for online learning. Why? It’s because of a lack of leadership and courageous advancement in our education policy. EdTech has kept up with technological advancements, but leadership for our schools has not. We find ourselves now scrambling to transition online and unfortunately, we missed the boat. Students will be left behind, severely hampered by inequities in accessing the education guaranteed by our state’s constitution.

Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Economy will not survive long shutdown

The effects of the COVID-19 virus in the Inland Northwest will be enormous on many dimensions. While policies certainly should focus on public health, economic impacts and societal effects cannot be ignored in the process.
Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Robin Pickering: To the parents protesting SB 5395: Concerning Comprehensive Sexuality Education

To the parents who believe that you are capable of providing your child with all they need to know about sexuality, relationships, anatomy, how to counteract messages they receive online, puberty, and affirmative consent, etc. … I believe you. Or, rather, I believe some of you. I also believe that some of you are capable of teaching your child trigonometry. But most of us aren’t.
Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Brett Haverstick: Nez Perce-Clearwater Forest plan has no accountability

The Forest Service is accepting public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the forest plan revision on the Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests. The comment deadline is April 20. The National Forest Management Act (1976) mandates all national forests to have a resource management plan or forest plan. Forest plans dictate the management direction of a particular forest. The new, single plan for the Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests will potentially guide management for the next few decades.
Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Beth Pellicciotti: A time of counting for Eastern Washington

It seems to be the time of counting. Counting the days until a self-quarantine is up; counting the number of new cases of coronavirus in each state or region, counting cans of food, number of pills; it’s a steady and relentless march of numbers. And yet, a different kind of counting is going on, behind the scenes, an invitation arriving in our mail, promoted by social media, billboards, and fliers. It is the Census count, and in this time of urgent and often dreadful counting, the Census might seem insignificant or even a quaint reminder of more normal times.
Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Jessica Lucht: Sex education is education

I’m proud to live in a state that is prioritizing honest, age-appropriate and medically-accurate information, so I strongly support Senate Bill 5395, the new sex ed bill, that recently passed the Washington Legislature. As a parent and sex ed teacher, I know firsthand how badly our kids are being failed by the current inconsistent standards. I’ve had high schoolers come to class who don’t know the names of body parts. I’ve had kids swear that the “little pill” inside of pregnancy tests is Plan B – it’s not, it’s a desiccant like silica gel that can be toxic if ingested. And I’ve had kids ask if what they’ve experienced was sexual assault – and usually, the answer was yes. Comprehensive sex ed is not just about condoms and STIs. It’s about making healthy decisions, social and emotional learning, setting and sticking to boundaries, and healthy relationships. For many young people, these classes will be the first time they’ve had conversations about intimate partner violence or coercion. Given our statistics, how can we afford not to have these conversations? According to the CDC, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18, and 90% of the time the abuser is someone the child knows. This is a public health crisis and it impacts a lifetime.
Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Jared D. Evans, DMD and Brian L. Simmerman: Spokane’s legacy of oral health care innovation needs to be expanded

Spokane County has a legacy of innovation in oral health care that extends over a quarter of a century. This legacy has benefited all of Washington and has been an influence for good across the country. We have a story that needs to be expanded until preventable dental disease is completely eradicated. In 1995, local dentists and physicians decided to work together with the University of Washington to address the high rate of dental decay in young children, especially among low-income families in which the problem was most prevalent and access to care most limited.

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