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September 03, 1998

Monahan's Well

By Jerry Curry
Just speculating, of course, what if a bunch of high school
freshmen boys and girls were gathered at a softball field
after dark on separate nights for what they were told were
traditional initiation rites into the privileges and
terrors of high school?

What if those who called for the initiation were led by one
or two who were no longer students at the high school
concerned and were in fact on their way to college? Some
colleges will accept anyone whose checks don't bounce.

Just speculating, of course, what if the girls were told in
the midst of these festivities that they must drink urine
(whether it was or not a bodily fluid) and when they
declined, the liquid said to be urine was thrown on them?

Just speculating, of course, what if shaving cream were
sprayed on some of the female initiates after a partial
disrobing was ordered by those directing the initiation?

Just speculating, of course, what if similar indignities
were visited upon the males the next night?

Just speculating, of course, what if this happened the week
before school in order to avoid running afoul of school
district officials? Of course those already graduated would
not have to worry about that one.

Is this fun? Not to the victims. Is this tradition? Yes.
Lynching people different than the lyncher also was a
tradition at one time in this nation. Is this hazing? It

Hazing is a violation of the student conduct code in the
Monahans-Wickett-Pyote school district.

Hazing is a violation of any moral code ever established
in the universe.

What may be more important in the context of this essay is
that hazing also is against the law in the state of

Those found guilty can be fined and jailed. Those who
know about hazing and do not report it to law enforcement
authorities can be fined and jailed if investigators
identify them.

Failing to report hazing then is a crime as surely as the
heinous acts themselves. Failure to report provides for
fines of up to $1000 and 180 days in jail or both. Hazing,
in which no bodily injury occurs, provides for comparable
fines and punishment except jail time can be no less than
90 days. If there is bodily injury, fines can reach to
$5,000 and jail sentences as high as a year, or both. In
the event of hazing deaths, and they are not rare,
punishment under the hazing statutes provides for fines
from $5,000 to $10,000 and up to two years in jail. Then
the individuals accused in the hazing death or deaths face
murder charges which can provide for the death penalty,
depending upon a prosecutor's evaluation of the facts of an
individual case.

Hazing is not funny except to the demented few idiots, who
find some kind of perverted delight in the practice.

Blaming the victims is no excuse. The law provides that the
consent of the victim is not a defense if the incident
finds its way before a judge as most such incidents
eventually do because at least one victim is intelligent
enough to decide it is neither masculine nor feminine to
allow such reprehensible conduct to continue.

Labor Day is excellent concept

Monday, Sept. 7, the first Monday in September, is Labor
Day, a national holiday only a decade more than a century
old, a national holiday dedicated to the working people of
the United States, who comprise more than 90 percent of the
population but who are treated as if they are not a factor
in either government or culture. Their only function, a
cynic might argue, is to provide the dollars necessary to
fuel the national corporations and the governments.

Labor Day, it seems, has degenerated mostly into another
three day holiday for the bureaucrats who rule this nation
and who are paid by those working people, only a few of
whom can celebrate the holiday named for them.

On Sept. 5, 1882, the Knights of Labor (Yes, they were a
union) met in New York City and proposed establishing a
holiday to honor the men and women who work every day to
ensure the continuing of civilization as we know it. In
1884, the New York legislature adopted a bill that
established a holiday on the first Monday in September to
celebrate the workers. That was the first official Labor
Day. Over the ensuing years, other states, and, finally the
federal government, followed.

Labor Day was, and is, supposed to be a day of parade,
picnic and festival, a testament to the idea that no man or
woman owns any other man or woman, physically or

It is an excellent concept, one which sometimes seems to
have vanished .

Thank you, Lord, for the rain

Saturday morning in Monahans, the streets ran with water
and the people of Monahans stood after dawn and just looked
at it as the rain kept falling. It began about 4 a.m. or so
with a wonderful prelude - flashes of lightning and
rolling thunder akin to bass drums. More than one, we
believe, said a prayer of thanks.

It is possible a few more good rains might end the burn
ban, a necessary move by the Ward County Commissioners
earlier this Summer when wild fire raged across North
Mexico and West Texas.

Commissioners said then they would be cautious about lifting
the ban on open burning and we commend them for it. We do
know it sometimes is precipitous to believe the time to end
that ban may have arrived because of the rain we have had.
Let us allow the commissioners the right to exercise their
good judgment.

Meanwhile, Saturday, Aug. 29, was a time to rejoice as we
watched our streets run with water.

Thank you, Lord.

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Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Joe Warren, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314

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Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers Inc.