Things happened fast this week, with a rifle raffle and a slaughterhouse video barely making the news before being snuffed out. This is not a testament to political correctness, but more to general stunned amazement at the chutzpah that allowed these events to happen. Gun raffle: Snow Canyon Lady Warriors Rugby in St. George held a curious fundraiser offering a shotgun or rifle for $50. Snow Canyon High School did its best to deflect the blame—it’s a club, it was the parents, not their fault. But really? A bake sale and gun raffle? In the wake of Sandy Hook and a 5-year-old shooting his sibling with a rifle he’d received as a present, how stupid is that? Then there was 25-year-old Amy Meyer, charged with a misdemeanor for videotaping a Draper slaughterhouse. The prosecutor withdrew the charge. Ambiguity, he said. But it’s clear to us.
This was just the saddest story of unnecessary violence in an increasingly violent culture. Ricardo Portillo was punched in the face by an unhappy teen who took issue with a foul call during a community-league soccer game. Still, unaffiliated events should not mean they are unbridled, lacking decorum and common sense. In this case, it was deadly. The 46-year-old referee, who suffered brain damage from the attack, died over the weekend. The 17-year-old is being held in juvenile detention, awaiting charges. The focus, though, should be on teaching control and finding peaceful ways to solve problems. These are lessons that need to be taught.
Does anyone think the Legislature was good to education this year? Not. A 2 percent increase in per-pupil spending still leaves Utah at the bottom of the pile nationally. But worse will be the continued effect of sequestration and the increased costs of health-care reform. Sequestration—that conservative concept that holds fast to austerity for the good of the country. Did anyone notice the concept disintegrating with a study that found massive errors in the research? A paper from the University of Massachusetts Amherst concluded that 2010 research by economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff—suggesting that the more debt a nation accrues, the lower the growth in the economy—was riddled with errors and omitted data. Still, with the nation in a snit over the national debt, it’s unlikely education will catch a break.