YOU ARE HERE: Glendale HomeCollectionsEarth

Education Matters: Law, life and morality on Earth v2.0

June 04, 2010|Dan Kimber

Editor's Note: Numerous instances of plagiarism have been discovered in Dan Kimber’s “Education Matters” column, which ran in the News- Press from September 2003 to September 2011. In those columns where plagiarism has been found, a For the Record specifying the details will be appended to the piece.

Last Friday I wrote about a new world fashioned by my 11th-grade students whose goal was to avoid the fate of planet Earth, which had been destroyed by thermo-nuclear war. The human experiment turned out to be a dismal failure, and it was incumbent on my students to work out a better way.

Here are some of their suggestions, some of which did not pass, and some of which did, with laws requiring a two-thirds majority.


All of the classes this year were insistent on having leaders, judges, law enforcers, teachers — virtually every public worker — take psychological tests to assure that such persons be mentally balanced. Could it be that these kids, at their tender age, have already seen their share of nutcases in public arena?

The decision on whether to allow lethal weapons on their new planet is always a source of heated debate for my students. The need for weapons is pretty well established for law enforcement, but less so for all other purposes to which guns were put on Earth. The real question became, "Do we really need lethal weapons?" After all, some of them reasoned, isn't that what got us into trouble back on Earth?

One of my classes voted to put extra research into Taser technology to further develop weapons that incapacitate, but do not kill.

There were strenuous objections from the "we need our guns" group (likely future NRA members), but the prevailing wisdom saw an unmistakable connection between hand-held pistols and their ultimate extension — the intercontinental missiles that nearly extinguished the human race.

Three out of the four classes decreed that there would be no jails on their new planet. Dangerous criminals would be exiled to remote islands, while others would be required to do community service to atone for their misdeeds.

One class suggested that all criminals be branded so that law-abiding people would be put on guard in their presence. Perhaps their aversion to locking people up has something to do with the present overcrowding in California prisons and the drain it causes on our faltering state economy.

Glendale News-Press Articles Glendale News-Press Articles