The Oregon House has passed three school-related bills that deserve additional comment before the Senate takes them up.
House Bill 3438 allows any city in Oregon to operate speed radar in school zones. To their credit, Sara Gelser of Corvallis and Sherrie Sprenger of Scio were among the minority to vote against this bill. In many places the 20-mph speed limit in school zones is unnecessary, and catching more drivers who go a little faster is not in the public interest.
House Bill 3014 would require schools to give students a chance to salute the flag in a classroom once a day. Nothing against flag salutes, though when required, they soon become an empty ritual. It would be far better for schools to give students a thorough appreciation of the history of America’s drive to secure freedom and opportunity for all. Finally, the House on April 22 also approved Gelser’s bill to allow students to opt out of mental health screenings in school. Mental health — the alleged shortage of it — has lately become a national obsesssion. But ideally, schools would use their limited time to work on education and not try to unearth a need for therapy as well. If they did, there would be no call for bills like this. (hh)