Opinion

Federal Way school district should strive for transparency | Q&A with Mr. Federal Way

Mr. Federal Way - File photo
Mr. Federal Way
— image credit: File photo

Q: Mr. Federal Way, you recently commented on raising the legal age for smoking to 21. There are numerous arguments for doing everything possible to keep kids from getting started, since it is such a difficult habit to quit. How do we overlook the 480,000 people in the U.S. who die annually from this nasty habit?

A: To clarify, Mr. Federal Way never condoned smoking — only that government agencies are far too involved in the personal lives of Americans. Vices, whether it be tanning in cancer beds, imbibing, gossiping, smoking — whatever the Pope has deemed a sin — are all bad for a reason. Mr. Federal Way thinks there’s a lesson about moderation buried under this somewhere.

But does it really make a difference if it’s an 18-year-old or a 21-year-old being allowed to partake in such activities as smoking tobacco? Scientists say yes, the 21-year-old brain is more mature and more developed in decision making. So, should that not mean that soldiers, as Mr. Federal Way referred to in the aforementioned column, not be allowed to enlist until they are 21 as well? Depending on which rank and position, choosing to hand over your life to “the man” in times of war, is probably a glamorous and noble idea for young men and women, fresh out of high school with no ideas for the future. But is it the absolute best decision to be made at age 18? For many, absolutely yes. For some, definitely not.

Mr. Federal Way reflects back to one of his favorite movies, the 1999 film “The Insider,” wherein Al Pacino and Russell Crowe play a real-life “60 Minutes” journalist and chemist whistleblower, exposing the big, bad tobacco industry in one grand “60 Minutes” airing. The United States has come a long way since that truth was exposed (in real life) and continues to do so, but Mr. Federal Way asks at what expense? Cigarettes are more expensive than ever, people are still dying, but not as many. And the world goes on. Teenagers and “tweeners” will still get ahold of cigarettes like they do alcohol, but now 18-to-20-year-olds will have more fines to pay, more hours of community service, or be required to participate in a smoking cessation program if they’re caught. Sounds like more tax dollars for a law that will have little impact overall.

Q: Mr.Federal Way, Federal Way Public Schools narrowed down the candidates for the District 5 board of director position awfully quick. Is this a super efficient school board or what?

A: Mr. Federal Way was quite shocked when the Federal Way school district announced that the board narrowed the 12 eligible candidates to five in less than three days. The application deadline was 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 19. The applications were made public via the board’s website on Tuesday at some point during the mid-day and the board met on Thursday during a work study to chop the “unsuitables” from the interview process, which was posted in the depths of their website as 24-hour-minimum notice.

Without getting into the nitty gritty details, it appears they followed protocol, but a crappy protocol, nevertheless. Mr. Federal Way thinks that for a district and board that’s undergone so much recent controversy, transparency, transparency, transparency should be the goal. If it’s not obvious on the front page of the district’s website, district officials should assume busy parents don’t have the time to sift through links and tabs to get to basic information. With that said, Mr. Federal Way wonders why this decision was made in such a quick manner. The board of directors just so happened to vote unanimously on the same five candidates after discussing it in that executive session. But they could not vote or make a decision on the five, which would have been against state law, 42.30.110(1)(h), for reference, in that session. Next up, a public interview process on June 3 for the chosen ones.

Q: Mr. Federal Way, I heard President Barack Obama recently announced plans to pull thousands of our troops from Afghanistan next year. What are your thoughts on this?

A: Mr. Federal Way thinks it’s about damn time. But Mr. Federal Way also thinks an award is in order for former U.S. president George W. Bush for starting the longest American war. Or, Mr. Federal Way guesses that award could go to Obama for keeping the longest war going throughout his presidency? Whatever. The point is Mr. Federal Way is stoked Osama Bin Laden can no longer strike fear into the hearts of women and children everywhere but wars on terror are about as effective as wars on drugs, of which cigarettes are a part of.

Let’s send our 18-year-olds to fight terrorists, some of whom will probably use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate after they’ve been honorably discharged from an IED (improvised explosive device) explosion, while the government uses more taxes to fight this war on drugs.

In all seriousness, with Memorial Day on Monday, many commemorated the 6,600 American deaths from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Mr. Federal Way also honored these soldiers and their families. May they find peace in knowing their sons’ and daughters’ fellow soldiers will finally be able to come home. Mr. Federal Way thinks a “Thanks, Obama” is also in order.

Q: Mr. Federal Way, I heard the Federal Way Mirror closed their office for lunch to celebrate publisher Rudi Alcott’s birthday. What did you get him?

A: None of your business.

Got a question for Mr. Federal Way? Email mrfederalway@federalwaymirror.com

 

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