Opinion 082912

It has been a long time since Atari came out with the ultimate video game, Pong.  Two slashes on each side of a computer screen for tennis rackets and a square dot acted as a tennis ball.  It has been a long time but anyone that grew up in the seventies can still remember the excitement of batting the ball back and forth as it sped up the longer the game was played and finally, one side or the other missed.  Game over.

Kids today do not have the luxury of knowing the kind of excitement that a blip-blip across the screen, nothing more and nothing less, produced in children barely out of the ‘tin can with a string’ era.  Graphics today make video games seem so real.  Games today are faster, and more realistic.

And so it goes with the Shelby County School saga.  Starting out as a strategic move by the city of Memphis (blip) to surrender the city school charter and hand over the system to the county (blip).   The municipalities caught wind of the situation (blip) and wanted no part of the leadership that would roll over into the new system (blip-blip) affecting them.   Attorneys were consulted (blip-blip-blip-blip) on both sides and referendums were passed and now we are in a full-blown game of Call of Duty.

Call of Duty is a first-person shooter game that completely immerses players in one of the most intense war storylines ever crafted for the medium, filled with unexpected plot twists and death-defying battles.   Perhaps that description is starting to sound familiar.  And just like the X-box game, which is not suitable for kids, neither are the battles over school systems at this point.

After each suburban community passed  referendums and a half-cent tax increase to support their independent school districts, the County fired back,  (pow)  superseding the municipality votes.  But Shelby County Mayor Luttrell vetoed the Shelby County Commission’s decision (blam).  Monday night the county commission moved to the next level when they over-rode Luttrell’s veto.

Germantown school board member, Ken Hover, said it best when he said that it is supposed to be all about the kids, but it is not.  We feel that perhaps the treaty should be signed, battles abated and the fancy smancy war games need to become military history.  At least where our children are concerned, we need to return to Atari basics.  (blip)