Write to your legislators
To prevent further spread of the coronavirus, we should require everyone to get fully vaccinated (including a possible third dose)--unless exempted by a sincerely held religious belief or medical condition. We should write to our legislators and executives at all levels of government.
As a senior at McCracken County High school and a member of Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), I am disturbed at the amount of victim-blaming I see in today’s social environment.
With October being National Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, our FCCLA chapter has been looking at ways to reduce the occurrence of victim shaming among our peers as well as the general public. Dating violence is a big problem among teenagers. One in three females and one in four males have reported being victims of relationship abuse in their lifetime.
The issue for teens as well as adults is that fear of reporting may be a barrier because of the backlash they could face. I feel victim-blaming is a major problem in today’s climate when people use phrases such as “What were you wearing?” or “Are you sure you said no?”. A survey conducted of 167 classmates at my school showed that 15% of students felt they did not have a trusted adult they could come to if they had experienced dating violence. Every teenager deserves to have someone they feel comfortable sharing the problems they are experiencing daily.
I am thankful for the community resources in my local town, such as Lotus and the Merryman House, with missions to help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. I want my peers and adults to know about these services and to believe victims rather than shame them. I want to Stand Up to those who blame the victim rather than the criminal. I want to Stand Up for the victims and say “I believe you.”
Hats off to Barkley
On Sept. 18, both my law partner Emily Roark and I traveled from Paducah to Nashville to fly into Pensacola, Florida, for a federal court appearance. Our flight left at 9 a.m. from Nashville. I awakened at 4:30 a.m. picked Emily up at 5 a.m. and we drove in the dark through construction barrels, the construction crews, arriving at 8 a.m. at the airport. An otherwise two-hour and 15-minute drive to the Nashville airport turned into a three-hour drive because of rain, construction, and heavy traffic. We made the flight. The next day we returned from Pensacola to Nashville, picked up our car from expensive parking, then I white knuckled drove from Nashville to Paducah in a torrential downpour, sandwiched between semi-trucks at speeds as low as 5 mph where I, honestly, wasn’t sure we were going to make it. We arrived back in Paducah near midnight, both of us frazzled and worn out.
On Oct. 19, my law partner and I again had to appear in federal court in Pensacola. This time we drove 10 minutes from home to the Barkley Regional airport and parked my car right outside the airport door, arrived at 5:45 a.m. and got on the plane at 6:15 a.m. We made court on time, met with lawyers on Tuesday, then got on a United flight to Chicago then Paducah. We were back in Paducah by 10:30 p.m., paid little for parking, drove home in 10 minutes and were not frazzled nor worn out. The flight cost a little more than the one from Nashville but that was made up for by the short drive, cheap parking, and returning home for a 10-minute drive. Hats off to airport manager Dennis Rouleau and the Barkley Regional Airport Board. I can’t wait for the new terminal.
Mark P. Bryant