The Astoria School Board, in its decision to kill public health care for city school students, is reminiscent of its infamous counterpart, the Kansas City School Board, that continues to deny evolution. Also, those people in Texas who seem to have a hypocritical stranglehold on school textbooks come to mind.

Although the great majority of people who attended the May 8 school board meeting were in favor of school-based health care centers, the board nixed the possibility by a 3-2 majority.

Why? Apparently because of a fear engendered about contraceptives for girls as well as abortions without parental knowledge or consent, which might be the local equivalent of the spurious claim of “death panels” impugned to Obama Care, or the overblown frenzy about gun control that the U.S. Senate responded to in its defeat of firearm registration, despite approval of perhaps 80 or more percent of Americans. And the Oregon State Senate has tabled all gun control legislation this session.

So here in Astoria, similar dubious guile and partisan sophistry highjack children’s opportunities for public health care. Three school board members either folded under political pressure or were never going to sanction a health care center in the first place. They tabled the idea, supposedly forever.

The most disturbing aspect will be if everyone gives up. The parents of the children killed at a Connecticut school last December were very unhappy with the U.S. Senate vote, but they are not quitting their crusade to regulate gun sales. Neither should the parents and students who believe a school-based health care center is a solid idea. The students probably won’t give up – nor should the adults, despite how often they might be rebuffed. It might take a while, and bruise some egos and ideologies.

Fortunately, there is an election this month, which includes three positions on the Astoria School Board. The majority of voters just might elect advocates of the health care center and reverse the current board’s imprudent decision, as reformist Clatsop County commissioners have altered the prospects of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Paradoxically, if indeed corporatist muscle prevails and LNG trumps the will of the people, as well might riverside coal export terminals, also, public health care will probably be necessary for nearly everybody.

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