Laurels & lances: Music, mistakes, reeling and ruling
Laurel: To a real disc jockey. The kind who remembers not just pushing buttons, but spinning vinyl. There will be one fewer of those on the air waves after July 31. That’s when WDVE’s Sean McDowell will retire. Good for him and his 40-plus years behind the microphone. Sad for classic rock lovers who will have to find someone new to keep them company as they drive home from work.
Lance: To obstinate rigidity in the face of obvious errors. It is pretty apparent that Waynesburg track coach Rick Layton didn’t mean to scratch the defending champion in 110-meter hurdles from the district championship. It isn’t just that the kid is a great athlete. He’s also Daniel Layton, the coach’s son.
Rick Layton made a mistake when he clicked a button during registration, accidentally removing his son from his defending event. So why is the WPIAL deciding to punish a high school student for an adult’s mistake? And by a vote of 12-3?
They say rules are rules and the deadline for registration has passed. That’s true. Sanction the dad for a blatant mistake if you must, but let Daniel Layton run. Hopefully the appeal to the PIAA shows both more common sense and compassion.
Laurel: To hooking kids on a hobby. Fishing can bring people together. Last week, it didn’t just bring together kids from Valley Junior-Senior High School with fourth-graders. It also brought everyone together with local police organizers.
The kids learned about fishing as well as stream ecology. Juniors and seniors got mentoring experience. The fish were donated to Knead Community Cafe in New Kensington.
Lance: To a bad prom-posal. Eight Belle Vernon Area High School students will get to go to the prom and graduation after a judge stopped their expulsions. The kids were being punished for underage drinking at a May 3 Relay for Life event.
The students had disciplinary hearings and were issued 45-day expulsions that would have overlapped the end-of-year festivities. A lawsuit asked for a preliminary injunction and new hearings, which were granted.
The school district has filed an appeal in Commonwealth Court.
The judge no doubt followed the letter of the law. Maybe the district did overstep its authority in disciplining the students for actions at a community, rather than school, event.
But with dangerous alcohol-related issues rampant in colleges, it seems like the kids are being cheated out of a valuable learning opportunity. There was a time that parents would have been saying “No prom for you.”