Report from Louisiana: A Cantankerous Mood

Posted: December 6, 2021 by Pat Austin in Uncategorized
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By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Perhaps I just woke up in a contrary mood this morning, or perhaps my Community Coffee hasn’t yet kicked in, but in scanning the headlines in The Advocate (Baton Rouge), I find myself bristling at every story.

The lead story announces that Governor John Bel Edwards will add the Covid vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for school children in order for them to attend public school. Personally, I think the Covid vaccine should be like the flu shot: optional. I got the vaccine (and the booster) but it was my choice. I admit, I do struggle with this somewhat. I mean, yes, I firmly believe we shout require polio vaccines and the standard MMR and so forth. Maybe the coronavirus is on par with those diseases, but maybe it isn’t. But this is the thing: in Louisiana any parent can “opt out” of any vaccine with a simple signature. So…. isn’t it just empty casting to “require” this vaccine? Politicking? 

The second story that puffed me up this morning was one which explained that the Baton Rouge school superintendent, who has been on the job since January 2021, will get a $10,000 bonus if he meets nine goals (raising ACT scores, submitting a balanced budget, growing LEAP scores, increasing graduation rate, etc.). Admittedly, these are worth goals, but where, I ask, is the bonus for the teachers? The superintendent already makes a $255,000 base salary. Where is the bonus for the teachers on the front lines? This is one of the reasons I never looked back when I retired from teaching: teachers are supposed to be happy with a Starbucks gift card or a Sonic breakfast burrito. “Good job, here’s a jeans day pass!” Bah! This makes me insane.

And then there was the OpEd guy who is trying to say that shortages, rising gas prices, and higher grocery bills have nothing to do with Joe Biden’s policies.  Say what?!

I suspect it is time for me to get another cup of coffee and quit looking at The Advocate. Maybe I’ll go bake some Christmas cookies or something.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and at Medium. She is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation (LSU Press).

  1. Pod Hamp says:

    Well, that’s what you get for reading the newspaper. If it is anything like the one in our town, they lean to the left, sometimes a whole bunch. Hope you aren’t paying much money for the aggravation – I get all I can handle for free on the Internet.

    BTW, I currently have three links in my Bookmarks to the Datechguy blog, and I am not really sure which one(s) I should be spending my time on. Hope that this one turns out to be the right one.