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Front Page » May 4, 2010 » Opinion » Small town USA needs to wake up
Published 2,484 days ago

Small town USA needs to wake up

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By Heather Parsons
Green River

Dear Small Town USA,

When did you become the exception to the rule? Why is it that within your town limits things like drinking laws, smoking laws, seat belt laws, and driving laws become obsolete or ignored? When are your citizens going to stop saying, "things like that don't happen in our town" and wake up and realize that there is just as much crap going on on their block as there is in a big city? When are you going to start penalizing kids caught smoking and drinking underage with more than just a slap on the wrist? And when are you going to start penalizing those who are supplying the cigarettes and alcohol to these minors? Ever heard of crime and punishment small town USA? Doesn't seem like it from what I have been hearing. Why do you have 13 and 14 year olds driving vehicles, golf carts and ATVs down your main streets? Has the concept of a drivers license been totally lost in small towns? When are things like sex parties and binge drinking parties that everyone knows about going to become of major concern to parents and law enforcement? For how long do your residents have to worry about having drug dealers living on your blocks next door to children?

Do things like speed limits not apply on your streets? They must not and I sure know that seat belts laws don't apply. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but isn't there a law stating that an infant must be placed in a rear-facing car seat when in a vehicle? Then why is it that on your streets, small town USA, there are many an infant riding on the lap of his or her parent or other children sitting or standing in or on the back of moving vehicles with no seat belts of any kind? Why would those laws apply in your limits? Things like loitering, littering, jay-walking and defacing of public property don't seem to be enforced. I guess just add it to the list right? Are you doing your youth and children any favors by not enforcing rules and laws? Is that teaching them anything? You may say, "Oh it's just kids having a little small town fun. No one cares anyway." I would beg to differ small town USA.

And lastly a word on education. Just because people live in rural or remote areas of the United States does that mean that they have to settle for less than the best in education for their children? Then why do you keep teachers who give coloring pages as homework for High School US History or who spend more time acting like students than teaching students, on staff? You can do much better than that in helping prepare young minds to go on to college and universities.

Small town USA you need to make some changes. You are not immune and you should not be exempt. You can't keep sweeping problems under the carpet. Maybe not all of these things happen in every small town but I would bet I am safe in saying that most small town folks have seen or heard of at least some of these things. Enough is enough. There is a generation of children being raised on your streets small town USA. Are those streets going to get better or worse before these children become teenagers?

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