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We are fortunate to have a public education system run by a body of educated and trained professionals whose primary interests are the breadth and the depth of what they can offer. They don’t inculcate, they inform.

They urge their students to listen to what they have to offer, but they leave it to each one to decide what is important among all the things they bring.

Our current state legislators have suddenly decided to place restrictions on the information that public educators offer. They pose as overnight masters of curriculum design, but they look more like this week’s contestants on American Idol, hoping by song and dance to win public approval.

They look ready to outlaw divisive ideas, maybe even division itself. Next step for them is to de-fund debate clubs. All that arguing can’t be good for those who sing Cumbaya around the conservative campfire’s rock-ribbed ring.

Their song is an anthem that denies a toasty fire-facing place to anyone not among a favored, warm and glowing, close and cheerful circle.

Some think lawmakers might heed their own advice and refrain from divisive actions like redistricting local offices in ways that divide voters’ impact.

Others say the lawmaker’s job is to turn from history’s cozy glow and look toward the cold dark woods of the future, where somebody should shine some light.

I say professional educators, not lawmakers, bring a brighter lantern that way.

Jim Baird Comer

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