I've smoked for 35 years, and I will be the first to tell you that smoking cigarettes is dumb, dumb, dumb. Only an idiot would put a cigarette in his mouth. Yet, I do it twenty times a day. I plan to quit soon, and yes, I've set a date and have a plan, but that isn't the focus of this post.
The focus of this post is power in Louisiana politics. The School Board is going to address this issue soon, and member Dr. John Sams doesn't have the political wherewithal to get the ban passed, so he is doing what all minority politicians do: get the media to do the heavy lifting. As a physician, if Dr. Sams can't convince people to give up smoking for all the right reasons, he will try to get it banned for all the wrong reasons. That is what politicians do.
It reads like a liberal screed from the Left Coast. "It's for the children!" "Secondhand Smoke is dangerous!" Tell me, Dr. Sams, how a child will get exposed to secondhand smoke from a teacher being out of sight of a child, outdoors, and lighting a cigarette. Dr. Sams says:
"Our whole society is sliding down into permissiveness," Sams said.
"I think we need to have certain things that are right and wrong. I think trying to be an example for our kids while smoking on campus is just plain wrong."
Yeah, it's for the children. I've known some good teachers and some bad teachers in my life, and I'm not sure I want many of them to be examples to my children. I've known teachers to live together out of wedlock, I've known teachers to drink and drive, I've known teachers who mess around with students. Teachers, like all professionals, exhibit all the foibles of the human race. While we're setting examples, what kind of example is Dr. Sams setting with his ample girth? Is he setting the example that overeating is okay? That not exercising is okay?
Teachers are adults, and students are children, and everyone knows that the rules are different for children and adults. Adults can vote, adults can drive, adults can enter into contracts and marry and do all manner of things that children aren't allowed to do.
This is about power, plain and simple. This is about banning something, taking rights from someone, making it harder for a group of adults to do a job. That's the way the U.S. works these days. Dr. Sams should mind his own business.