Last Words



The Thrasher Group

October 16, 2018 - Volume 38 Issue 10

After a deadly crash this summer, three-point seat belts are now the law for New Jersey school buses. The law takes effect immediately and requires all school buses manufactured 180 days from now to have three-point harnesses for each seat on the bus. Similar legislation has been proposed on the federal level. (, Aug. 25)

“We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away” - . Zhuangzi (Chuang-tzu / “Master Zhuang’), late 4th century BC) pivotal figure in Classical Philosophical Daoism. The Zhuangzi is a compilation of his and others’ writings at the pinnacle of the philosophically subtle Classical period in China (5th–3rd century BC).The period was marked by humanist and naturalist reflections on normativity through use of the parable, typified as a discussion between imaginary or real interlocutors. Typically, these short, pithy, and amusing, his tales are both accessible and philosophically seductive.

“I think we have a very accurate depiction of performance of students in schools and districts throughout the state.” – Supt. Steve Paine on the new system to evaluate schools

“Our overdose rate in the state leads the nation. We’re an outlier, in fact.” – Jeremiah Samples, deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, on how the drug epidemic contributes to mental health issues in children

“These negative experiences can harm a child’s brain in development, which can result in long-term health problems.” – Christina Mullins of the Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health on the effects of adverse childhood experiences

“Our drug-endangered children are having drug-endangered children.” – Andrea Darr, director of the State Police Center for Children’s Justice

“The opioid crisis is blowing up the school system.” – Andrea Darr

“It was about efficiency. For most of us over there that went through this, it was about taking a really good look internally at the bureaucracy there and to realign it.” – Clayton Burch, associate state superintendent, on the process to phase out the Department of Education and the Arts and create the Department of Arts, Culture and History

“Several years ago, there was a law that would have penalized school boards if the assessor was under 54 percent. School boards thought it was punitive to hurt the school children based on the work of the assessor, so in 2014, that law was changed to say if they’re not at 54 percent, we won’t hurt the school systems but we will possibly remove the assessor or appoint a special assessor. That happened in 2014, and I think that has had a positive effect as we’ve seen in the last three year no assessor has failed their sales ratio.” – Jeff Amburgey of the Tax Department on efforts to improve county assessors’ property assessments

“The great thing about this is now home schooled families…can participate in athletics. They can participate in extracurricular activities. They get the college and career counseling by the professional person in the schools.” – Valery Harper of the Kanawha County schools on getting home-schooled students back into the public school system through the use of virtual school courses

“The lesson here is that the cost of textbooks is becoming an issue for academic success.” – Karen Diaz, dean of libraries at West Virginia University, on plans to create a virtual library that could help not only higher education but also the public school system