Roses and thorns 2/11/18


Erica Pate and students from her third grade class pose during a poetry slam at South Side Elementary in West Point on Friday.

Erica Pate and students from her third grade class pose during a poetry slam at South Side Elementary in West Point on Friday. Photo by: Deanna Robinson/Dispatch Staff




A rose to Erica Pate and her 27 third-graders at South Side Elementary School in West Point for their excellent "Poetry Slam" Friday morning. Each of the students stood before an audience of family and staff and recited poetry - some by famous authors, some penned by the students themselves. Public speaking is considered to be one of the most fear-inducing experiences in life and while a few weren't quite up to the challenge, all of the students should be proud of the effort - if not the outcome. Poetry teaches students to explore new ways of expression, helps them interpret what they read and ignites the creative fire that burns within each of us. To be exposed to such experiences at so early an age is certain to benefit each of the students as they continue through life. Great job, kids! 




A rose to the Starkville Parks and Recreation Department, which is seeking public input as it evaluates its parks, services and programs through a recently-launched "State of the Parks" initiative. The initiative, which lasts the month of February, primarily seeks to gather input on how the public uses parks and what amenities and resources they would like to see added to them. To do that, the Parks and Recreation department is collecting information two ways. The first is through a survey, which is available to fill out in-person at the Starkville Sportsplex on Lynn Lane and online at The department is accepting surveys through March 1. The second is a series of ward meetings that will be held through the month. Any organization benefits from taking time to evaluate itself. Inviting its "customers" to participate in that process is certain to provide the information needed to make the department better. We commend the city for being inclusive in this evaluation. 




A thorn to state representatives Gary Chism and Jeff Smith for their unreasoned support of a patently ridiculous House Bill that would enable people with enhanced concealed carry permits to sue universities if they deny them the "right" to carry firearms into college sports venues. In supporting the bill, which passed the House by an 81-29 vote, Chism and Smith are sacrificing sanity and safety at the alter of the most extreme distortion of the Second Amendment. They have traded a dubious benefit for a tangible danger. University officials in the state and conference officials immediately condemned the bill as a threat to the safety of students, visitors, players and game officials and it takes no great leap of logic to see why introducing firearms into a toxic mix of fan fervor and alcohol is a reckless act that defies reason and courts tragedy. 




A rose to a baseball team that made history Friday, simply by stepping onto the field. When the Mississippi University for Women baseball team took on the University of Dallas at Columbus High School's diamond Friday, it marked the first time a team of men students represented the university in a college athletics contest. The addition of baseball to The W's athletics programs, revived after a 12-year absence, means men will participate in school athletes for the first time. It was truly an historic moment for The W.



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