I cut some slack for Rep. Eric Swafford (R-Pikeville) when he wanted to see Barack Obama's birth certificate. After all, we were voting in the most liberal senator to these United States of America. But it appears that's water under the bridge. Even Republicans are now running after silly socialist ideas as if they were chasing down the neighborhood ice cream truck for their inactive kid.
The idea behind Rep. Eric Swafford's latest legislation here in Tennessee is creepy. Not to mention, socialist in many ways. In other words, it not only doesn't make any sense, it just wastes more tax dollars. Accountability was something that Republicans used to demand. I am beyond appalled at the level of political and moral cowardice on display.
HB 0055 authorizes the general assembly to appropriate funding for the state school fund to provide for the inclusion of a school nurse in every public school. I still cannot believe this is something a Republican wants to give the people of Tennessee at a cost of almost 20 million dollars. Yes, this is the net impact. And no, I'm not kidding.
Isn't it bad enough there are backpacks and school lunches that already come equipped with a pill dispenser for all of our allegedly ADHD kids? Why are we going to pay a school nurse to medicate our kids? I mean, I'm trying to fit the idea in my head that every public school needs a school nurse. Not, most public schools. Not, some public schools. Every public school.
I simply don't understand the need to have this kind of legislation passed at a time like this, or for that matter, a time like ever. Who does it truly benefit? If we're closing down schools for "cold weather alone" now, what's going to happen when there's a school nurse in every school? I'm hardly thinking outside the box when I say there will be a significant increase in the number of students who claim sickness so they can go home and play video games. Or worse.
I'd like to objectively see why there's a need for a school nurse in every public school. Are kids getting so sick during the middle of the day they're having to be rushed to the ER? Please stop. I'd also like to know what the value and positive outcome of this 20 million net impact to taxpayers - who are also parents - will be. I'm sorry, but 20 million here, 20 million there isn't cutting it anymore. This isn't a game. Rep. Eric Swafford, a Republican, should know better.
Unfortunately, there's little difference now between Republicans and Democrats. Hold on to the socialist pipe dream of a nurse in every public school for a moment. If I were to tell you that legislation has already long passed in Georgia that funds a graduation counselor in every public school, would you say the Governor who allowed that lunacy to happen was a Republican or Democrat? If you guessed it was Sonny Purdue, a Republican, you're correct. Whether it's a nurse or a "graduation" counselor in every public school, Republicans force us to hold hands even tighter with Big Brother.
I've had enough. I'm letting go. Two plus two will always be four.
And a nurse in every public school is just a sick idea that shouldn't be brought to fruition.
Tony Zizza is a free-lance writer who lives in Hermitage, TN. He writes frequently about education and popular culture. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor's Note: As it turns out, this article has generated quite a number of responses, mostly from school nurses all around the world, which will be linked to below.