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A Banner Day in Platte County: Celebrating Hate in a Wyoming High School

Our guest blogger, humorist Neil Janowitz, takes on the best news you may have missed.

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A school board in Wheatland, Wyoming, made its message loud and clear during a recent meeting: Schools are a place for hate. Or so disciples of modus tollens would insist, now that the administrators administrating Platte Country School District have reaffirmed their decision to prevent the area's temples of education from hoisting banners that read NO PLACE FOR HATE. The Anti-Defamation League-sponsored posters had already been 86ed by the board once back in January, but hate-hating parents, students, teachers, and members of the community's "we want people to like each other" camp swarmed to the board's meeting earlier this week to try to sway the opinion. The gathering quickly became a place for hate.

The original snag, according to the article, was the inclusion on the banner of a logo for the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado—a deal breaker for naysaying board members. Discouraging hate they're all for. But discouraging hate against a specific group, while also discouraging hate against everyone else not in that group? That might seem like anti-hate preferential treatment. And you know how high school kids get about perceived favoritism.

But not to worry. Board chairman Kelly Tyson swept in with an enlightenment bomb and explained that she simply didn't want to deal with the social issues (what are those?), and that the schools are equipped to handle cases of hate in-house. For example, she cited the district's strict stance against bullying, thereby reassuring the assemblage that, if nothing else, the school is doing what every other school in the entire world already halfheartedly does.

What the board members failed to realize is that the banner would not actually curtail hatred—the preservation of which clearly being important to them. Rather, it would just encourage students to relate to one another as human beings and exalt individual expression as the highest virtue. But since all high school students do—other than text naked pictures of themselves to each other—is indiscriminately hate, the board members wouldn't have anything to worry about. Except maybe the cost to pay union custodians to hang the banners, those collectivized wage-gougers.

—Neil Janowitz

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