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-- Daily Darts for June 29.2014 --


Ky. State Senator Paul Hornback -- Should He Be Doing Time for Child Endangerment?

This story about tobacco farmers exploiting children to work the tobacco fields has been around for a long time, but Samantha Bee's piece "Nicoteens" on Jon Stewart's Daily Show may have given the cause the lift it needs. 

Bee did one of those spoof interviews with a Kentucky state senator and tobacco farmer named Paul Hornback.  At least I hope it was spoof; you never know with these pieces.  But if this guy means even half of what he said, he needs to be investigated for child endangerment. As with most of the Stewart interviews, I'm trying to figure out what on earth would convince these people to go on the air with their bullshit.  I guess in this case, the smug prick figures that he's immune because he's in Kentucky and is a Kentucky politician.

Never mind that the country's 13,000 tobacco farms need to be put out of business -- period.  Those that rely on child labor should be eliminated by next weekend.  These are not middle class white kids that are being exploited, and I would wager dollars to donuts that Hornback's kids or grandkids are not out in his field sun up to sun down being poisoned by nicotine.  Virtually all of these exploited kids are Mexican immigrant children who have absolutely no power in this system -- paid slaves.  This is a federal problem and it needs to be eliminated by federal law -- and Hornback needs to be investigated by the FBI, not his Kentucky cousins.  

Federal Labor law currently allows children as young as 12 yo to be hired for agricultural work for unlimited hours outside of school hours, with no minimum pay. That means in the summer, it's sun up to sun down -- some kids report working 80 hrs/week.  There is NO MINIMUM AGE for children to be employed on "small farms." That has to change.    

I wonder why Kentucky's US Senator, Dr. Rand Paul, isn't speaking out on this obvious health issue.  He's a doctor!!  And I don't know that his father, Dr. Ron Paul, ever spoke out about it either when he was in Congress. He's a doctor, too!!  In Kentucky, tobacco talks, child safety walks.    

Here's a short article by Human Rights Watch with a link to their 138 page report.  


Arizona is the New Florida . . .

. . .and Maricopa County is the new Broward County, which means butt-head stupid has a new home. 

A lot of the people in Maricopa County must drink the same water that shit-for-brains sheriff Joe Arapario drinks because stupid is fast becoming endemic in that county.  Take the people who run the Ashton Ranch Elementary School, for instance.  

This school's principal, David Stoeve, and Asst Principal, Sherri Hedges, have become the butt of international, viral, ridicule because, apparently, they busted a 5 yo for "sexual misconduct:" pulling his pants down on a play ground.   Original story.

Although Stoeve runs the school, from what I can see Hedges is the real horse's-ass in this story.  Joining them both is James Dean, some sort of bureaucrat with the Dysart United School District, who is running PR point and is now doing the ole' two-step to try and defend the way Stoeve and Hedges have characterized the child's behavior as "sexual misconduct."  From azfamily.com:

Five-year-old Eric Lopez pulled his pants down on the playground at Ashton Ranch Elementary School last Spring and received a punishment of detention for what the school has deemed sexual misconduct.

Eric now has a note that will remain in his permanent file for the duration he attends Dysart schools. His mother was not notified of the incident or the note her son signed in the assistant principal's office until after the fact.

And this . . .

Dysart Unified School District policy labels indecent exposure as a form of sexual misconduct. Under the district rules, administrators must present the student with the accusations, but they are not required to have a parent present for the meeting unless a student specifically asks for his or her parent to be there.

I'll let the blogosphere handle the heavy lifting of pointing out the obvious; i.e., how freaking brain-ded Stoeve, Hedges, Dean and their colleagues must be to consider Eric's behavior as "sexual misconduct" or as something that should be memorialized in the child's school record.  I want to focus on two ancillary points.  

First, from a lawyer's perspective, it seems to me that any idiot who makes a 5 yo. sign any document that is even vaguely legal, like the disciplinary note Hedges forced Eric to sign, doesn't have enough common sense and doesn't understand enough about the law or about 5 yo's to be working anywhere near them.  What was it, precisely, Eric's signature was supposed to mean or prove? 

The screen grab below is a partial view of the document the boy was forced to sign -- showing Eric's "signature" and Hedges counter-signature.  It appears to be a statement saying he had "been given the opportunity to tell my side" [of the story.]  Most 5 yo's wouldn't even know what "opportunity" means.  And the child's parents weren't present.  So what possible meaning is supposed to attach to the kid's signature "E-r-i-c" ??  I am shocked by these bureaucrats' brazen stupidity.   


Second point: The boy's name is Lopez, which suggests a Mexican ancestry, which suggests to me what is really behind this harassment.  The entire world knows what Maricopa County, and white Arizonians in general, think about Mexicans.  Just look at whom they elect to public office -- McCain, Brewer, and Arapaio, for instance.   

Stoeve and Hedges can be reached at  623-523-8300.
david.stoeve@dysart.org   &   sherri.hedges@dysart.org








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