Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 02-07-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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Page 13 of 87

14 LETTERS / WOONSOCKET FEBRUARY 7-13, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET The dignity of babies in the womb Here we are again. The battle lines have been drawn. On one side are those who affirm the dignity of vulnerable human life, and on the other side are those who don't. Since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, over 50 million babies have been legally murdered in the United States. The Holocaust of Abortion is justified, and even advocated for, by many powerful people and interest groups in our country for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you are reading this and have wondered what the basis is for the statements I have just made here. Many would say that they constitute an extreme position. While this letter is indeed written from the perspective of a Christian pastor, the ethical dilemmas that will be confronted should be within the ability of even the most agnostic skeptic to understand and ponder. We will begin by defining when life begins. From the Christian per- spective, we turn to the pages of the holy Bible, which is the guide for all Christians everywhere with regard to all matters of faith and practice. "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity. And in sin my mother conceived me" (Psalm 51:5). David affirms that he existed as a person beginning at the moment of concep- tion. The New Testament says of Elizabeth that "the babe leaped in her womb" at the greeting of Mary (Luke 1:41). According to God's Word, life begins at conception, and there is a baby in the womb from that point until birth. Therefore, for the Christian, the case is closed. Human life clearly begins at con- ception. What about those who do not accept these things as true because they do not believe the Scriptures? Humanly speaking, we cannot say for sure when life begins, or can we? I submit to you that we can, and the line of reasoning goes as follows. The human life is a con- tinuum, which begins as a single cell at fertilization. We might say that this is the 'most embryonic' stage of human life. From that point forward, the person continues to develop as a human being. Blood cells begin to form after 17 days, the heart begins to form at 18 days, the heart begins to beat at 24 days, the baby looks distinctly human after one month, reflexes and brain waves are operational by the end of two months, and so forth. Ever since fertilization, or conception, we have a person with the capacity to be a functioning adult. There is no time between the points of concep- tion and death that a viable human being does not exist. On what basis then do some select a particular point of time at which a baby goes from 'un-personhood' to person- hood? It would be untenable to argue that life begins at some point in the womb – say three months – because that is simply a point on the contin- uum of development. That is, there is no radical change or interruption in the child's development that would justify such a reach. A second part of the debate is viability. Again, who gets to determine viability? The state of Rhode Island and its "progressive" politicians who now advocate for murder in the third trimester? Are the infirm elderly, terminally ill, and mentally (disabled) going to be next? I pray that our state and nation rights the wrong of state- sponsored murder of babies in the womb. JAMES MORIELLO Pastor Firm Foundation Christian Church, Woonsocket Casey appointed chairman of new House Committee on Special Legislation PROVIDENCE – Speaker of the House Nicholas A. Mattiello has appointed Rep. Stephen M. Casey, District 50 Woonsocket, to serve as chairman of the newly created House Special Legislation Committee. "I am humbled and honored that Speaker Mattiello has selected me for this position," said Casey. "I look for- ward to chairing this new committee, which will help to ease the burden of some existing committees and giv- ing special legislation the attention it deserves." In addition, Casey was appointed to serve on the House Labor, Corporations, and Veterans' Affairs committees. Casey was first elected as a state representative in November 2012. IN BRIEF a student video that was turned over to administrators, leading to the dis- ciplinary action. Partington's objec- tions lie in what he describes as a lack of clear policy on what staff members are and are not allowed to do when break- ing up student fights. The issue, he said, is heightened by the use of a student film as evidence against a staff member and the com- mon practice among students of filming fights. Without a clear pol- icy, he said, staff members will be nervous to break up student fights in the presence of cell phones. "We need a policy. These things are going to happen all the time. They do happen all the time. They happen in the community, they hap- pen in school," he told The Breeze. Partington also urged administra- tors to consider a policy disciplining students for recording fights. The fights, he said, have become some- thing of a spectator sport among stu- dents, who stand ready with cameras when they hear of a fight between their classmates. "It's blood sport. Everybody loves a fight, I guess, and they're filming it," he said. School Committee President Paul Bourget told The Breeze that, contrary to Partington's assertions, the district does have a policy that governs how teachers should behave toward stu- dents during a fight. While teachers do not receive specific training on breaking up fights, all staff members receive Crisis Prevention Institute training covering physical restraints and disciplinary actions toward stu- dents. That training, said Bourget, applies during any teacher-student interaction, including while breaking up a fight. "The policy is there. And they didn't like the decision that the School Committee made, but it was well thought out," he said. "We looked at the evidence." Bourget acknowledged the dis- trict's policy on responding to stu- dent fights remains open-ended, with staff members allowed, but not obligated, to attempt to break up a fight. Woonsocket High School currently has one school resource officer who could respond to calls for assistance in case of a fight, with another due to start soon at the mid- dle schools and two more in March, bringing the district total to four. "Typically, they are the ones who are going to get involved in break- ing fights up. But teachers have in the past and will con- tinue," he said. Supt. Patrick McGee also pointed out the difficulty of creating a set policy for breaking up fights given the variety of circumstances and teacher comfort lev- els in such situations. "I would never want a teacher to put him or herself in a situation where they could get injured them- selves," he said. "If an administra- tor can be called immediately or a resource officer could be called immediately, we would prefer that to happen. There are times when teachers do (break up fights). We don't encourage that, and we don't discourage them from breaking up fights." McGee agreed that the rise in recording of student fights, which started around the time students began taking cell phones to school, poses a potential problem and changed the nature of student fights. He said administrators were con- sidering instituting a policy against videotaping fights when the student recording the fight could be clearly identified. "What sometimes tends to happen is if kids feel like they have an audi- ence and someone's filming it, they do it," he explained. The presence of cell phones, he said, has changed student-teacher interactions in other ways as well. Parents, he said, sometimes audio- tape meetings with teachers over potentially contentious issues. While the district has no intention of trying to restrict those types of recordings, it's another example, he said, of changing relationships in the social media age. "If something's going on, you see people standing by with their phones out," he said. "It's just anoth- er situation that schools have to deal with with respect to students." McGee added that school resource officers try to be proactive in preventing fights by establishing positive relationships with students, sometimes receiving tips to the pres- ence of issues between classmates before fights begin. BOURGET VIDEOS From Page One MCGEE 3 Room Special Berber or Plush Carpet Based on 360 sq. ft. Additional charges may apply. 27 Veterans Way • Woonsocket, RI • 401-765-2830 Carpet Cleaning Available Because Accidents Happen CARPET BINDING • LUXURY VINYL FLOORING • LAMINATE FLOORING SHOP OUR SHOWROOM! OR SHOP AT HOME! 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