I had the privilege today of addressing the morning and afternoon blocks of Mr. Riley’s Eighth Grade Civics class at Lincoln Middle School. BREO co-chair Russ Coggins accompanied me in the morning. This afternoon Executive Director of the Pullman Chamber of Commerce, Fritz Hughes, joined me.
Mr. Riley and his students have been debating both sides of the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter controversy. Previously this week, they heard from PARD members Greg Hooks and Cynthia Hosick. Mr. Riley informed me that his morning class was in favor of Wal-Mart by nine to seven, and the afternoon class around fifteen to seven.
The kids were great and they had a lot of thoughtful questions to ask. I was more than happy to make the case for Wal-Mart and to share facts with them so they could reach their own conclusions. I think it’s terrific that they are being educated now in the democratic process and how local government works. They will be able to vote in a few years, and hopefully they will learn how to make informed choices.
Big personal thanks also to Michael Riley for being such a courteous host. He is personally against Wal-Mart and wrote a letter to the editor over the summer stating his reasons why, which I took exception with on this blog. He knew that, and invited me to speak anyway. He’s the kind of teacher we need more of in our schools.