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Things went along rather smoothly in southern Chester County during 2012. And yet, every once in a while the news revealed that people were being unreasonable or just not thinking too clearly. Here are 10 things which we could have done without:
1. The circus surrounding the administrative leave and eventual resignation of Principal David Madden at Oxford: The constant bantering about who texted whom and who said nasty words about whom was taken too far. If this principal was to be disciplined and-or released, it should have been done in a more civilized manner without all the angry shouting and condemnation of the board.
2. The punishment of the Penn State football team: The players didn’t molest children. They were generally good kids who came out to practice day and do their best to be good sports. One coach, Jerry Sandusky, committed crimes against young people. It was appropriate for him and those who covered up to be punished -- not the kids.
3. Route 41: It’s been too many years that this road has been a death trap. It needs to be widened and improved. Too often people slow down to make left turns and get crushed from the rear. It’s time to recognize that this is a major route from the port of Wilmington into central Pennsylvania.
4. No lacrosse at Oxford: The kids have been stuck at the club level for several years. The other schools in southern Chester County have lacrosse teams, and it’s time for Oxford to join the neighbors and get the sticks moving.
5. No Child Left Behind and the PSSAs: The schools of Pennsylvania have been enslaved by the necessity to perform at ever higher levels on these tests. It has put too much emphasis on English and math to the exclusion of art, music and physical education. Education is not a one-size-fits-all matter, and students do not deserve the pressure that is being put on them. They have plenty of testing already. Get rid of these tests.
6. The coming end of Camp Tweedale: This is a good camp in a lovely location in Lower Oxford that serves the Girl Scouts of Chester County. The Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania have affirmed that the summer of 2013 will be Tweedale’s last, and then the scouts of the greater Philadelphia area will be limited to three camps that are more modern and much larger. The council has made a mistake and is taken the camping experience away from the girls. Tweedale will be sorely missed.
7. The confusion over what is historical and what is not: The barn at Franklin Township will be torn down, but not without loud protests from the historical preservationists. The Red Rose Inn is sitting is sitting in disrepair, getting more dilapidated everyday. There are some buildings that should just be torn down, because being old does not make them historical. If George Washington slept there, or if something important happened there, then let them stand. Otherwise, let progress reign.
8. The folks who protested the Avon Grove Charter School’s Mix It Up At Lunch: Mix It Up at Lunch is a nationwide project started by the Southern Poverty Law Center 11 years ago to break up cliques and prevent bullying. It is held annually at the Avon Grove Charter School. The idea is to encourage students to associate with others -- different from themselves -- whom they would not normally mix with at lunch that day. This year the conservative, evangelical group, the American Family Association, has urged parents to keep their kids home from school that day because it views the project as an attempt to promote homosexuality.
9. The protest against Kennett stadium lights: All the other schools have lights for night sports events. A few spoilers in Kennett Square have forced litigation and delays. It’s time for Kennett to have Friday night football.
10. Voter ID: It was on and then it was off. Too much time and confusion were spent trying to help people get their proper identification to vote, and then it was postponed. Let’s get it straight and don’t deprive the poor and elderly their constitutional right.