Shielding the president
The position Sen. Susan Collins has taken on President Donald Trump’s Senate trial looks to me like a sham intended to shield the president from justice and conceal his wrongdoing. I hope the senator has reflected on the column by Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post, which called her position preposterous and a violation of the Senate’s oath.
Collins stated that as a future juror she would not comment on the house impeachment proceedings. Then she lunched with Trump at the White House, and was essentially endorsed by him on Twitter. Collins also joined a fundraising pact with Lindsey Graham, who has since publicly declared that he’ll vote against impeaching Trump and won’t read testimony. From my perspective, her conduct presents the appearance of impropriety and would not be tolerated in a regular trial.
Collins stated when she voted to exonerate former President Bill Clinton that removal following impeachment should be reserved for the gravest offenses that shred the “fabric of the democracy.” I believe that is precisely what Trump has done almost daily since taking office — attacking the First Amendment, defying Congress, arguably violating the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, defying the War Powers Act.
Collins’ failure to offer effective opposition to these Constitution-defying actions is consistent with her acceptance of unqualified partisan judicial nominees and her record of donations to GOP Senate colleagues who are anti-choice. History will not look kindly on Collins for shielding a president who has shredded the fabric of our norms, laws, and Constitution.
The value of partnership
Partnership is exemplified within the Bangor School Department. When I heard Dr. Betsy Webb speak during orientation last summer, I heard a message loud and clear: the qualities of curiosity, generosity, cooperation, and respect are the cornerstones of sound partnership. Before orientation, throughout the interview process, several people in leadership positions related they are very open to, and interested in, new ideas. The experience was one of partnership, not one of authoritarianism.
When I sat down with Webb for my final interview, I found her to be down to earth, relatable, and very focused on the social and emotional learning of students. Later, when I was among a group of newly hired folks on a tour of the school department, I listened to Webb speak reverently about the challenges students face and how the Bangor School Department is dedicated, not only to meeting their social, emotional, and academic needs, but to raise students up beyond statistics. It is the leadership and passion for learning that makes Webb a priceless asset to our community.
When our community raises their voices out of concern for students, that is a great and tremendous gift. It is when our community begins to blame without curiosity, generosity, cooperation, or respect for the tremendous responsibility of our superintendent, that I feel we have missed a great opportunity to exemplify partnership for our youth.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Bangor School Department
My hope for 2020
As we continue to ring in the New Year, we face 2020 with newfound motivation and hope. While this is commendable and honest in theory, motivation and hope are often found in the form of resolutions. Even more often, our New Year’s resolutions include the phrases: “lose weight,” “start a diet,” “eat fewer calories,” “new year, new me.” While it is always good to strive towards improving oneself, it is vital that this is done in a healthy manner.
Unhealthy thinking about diet is dangerous, and it has proliferated among the impressionable minds of teenagers. As a high school senior, all too often I hear peers complain about their weight, their appearance, and their food intake. I hear, “I’m going to stop eating for a week so that I can lose weight.” This is highly concerning, and it is an issue that runs rampant throughout our schools.
Certainly, social media has made a devastating impact on how girls view their bodies as “influencers” shower feeds with unrealistic body expectations and goals. Yet, how uneducated are we that we do not understand the value of nutrition and the importance of a healthy mind? Can we step aside and recognize all that our bodies can accomplish? Can we be filled with contentment and self-love this New Year instead of criticism and condemnation of ourselves?
Let us cherish all that we are in 2020, not just all that we hope to be.