Editorials for Friday — August 29, 2003

• School attendance

• Farm Bureau Fair

School attendance

The complexity of federally mandated laws passed in an attempt to better our schools reminds one of a double-edged sword.

The schools have a good argument when they say that stiffening the absence-excuse requirements for parents who keep their children home from school is boosting school attendance. There are cases where parents neglect their children by keeping them home too long with no good excuse. Principals may have a say in judging whether parents are abusing the absence policies, saving the law from blindly placing students and parents in trouble.

The argument against making school-absence rules stronger is the potential for punishing parents who through honest circumstances keep their children home over the limit of allowed absences. These parents might face being required to attend parenting classes, and in drastic cases face charges of child neglect.

Children need to be in school on a regular basis, and abuses to the absence-excuse system need to be caught, and those parents punished. However, these new, stringent laws need to be monitored carefully to make sure parents who are cited are justifiably cited.

Farm Bureau Fair

The coming of the annual Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair marks the end of summer, and the fair provides a good reason for just about every resident of Kaua‘i to make a trip to Lihu‘e.

And year-in and year-out, most of them do.

The sights and sounds of the fair are memorable ones for young and old. The fair brings out the best in Kaua‘i produce, flowers, livestock and local foods.

The carnival atmosphere is a special treat for Kaua‘i’s youth, who don’t have easy access to Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm.

The rides, live music, cotton candy, games of chance, and being able to hang out with friends from across the island provide a once-a-year event.

The bonsai plant exhibits, rows of blue-ribbon fruits and vegetables, the business and community booths, the petting zoo, tractor and farm equipment displays and sparkling lights are a perfect backdrop for this islandwide gathering.

The farm fair highlights and celebrates the rural lifestyle of Kaua‘i, and reminds us of the joy of life on Kaua‘i.


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