ATHENS,TX–A first grade student at South Athens Elementary recently demonstrated that children are sometimes better at handling right or wrong than grownups.
The student, Bill Fold, explained that his mother was taking him to school last Wednesday when he kept noticing campaign signs for Alex Patel along Highway 19. He asked, “Mom, who is Alex Patel?” His mother replied that she wasn’t sure but thought he lived in Palestine, mentioning how she had been following some stories from the Dogwood Tale about him running for city council. Bill inquired, “In Palestine?” This was affirmed by his mother. Bill thought for a moment, then asked, “If he lives in Palestine, why are his signs here?” Mom answered, “I don’t know.”
Bill continued, “Mom, it doesn’t make sense, I mean if he lives in Palestine and is running for their city council, why, oh why are his signs over here?” Mom indicated she was growing impatient at this point and replied, “Bill, I don’t know, please stop asking me these questions as you’re starting to annoy me.”
Bill says they drove a little further and he then asked, “Mom, don’t you care about the law?” Mom pulled over on the shoulder of the road, ironically right next to a Patel sign, looked Bill in the eye and asked, “Why are you doing this to me, I’m just trying to get you to school so you can get a good education.” Bill replied, “Maybe I should drop you off at school so you can get a good education, heck even I know these signs are illegally placed in highway right-of-way and are a violation of law because they don’t have the required language printed on them. They shouldn’t be here, Mom.”
Mom was barely back onto the highway when Bill asked point-blank, “Are you aiding and abetting a criminal, Mrs. Fold? Isn’t this what society has become, the little things don’t matter, then pretty soon the big things don’t matter because everyone is so used to looking the other way or making excuses about not getting involved, talking about how much good someone has done while that person is neck deep in doing something they shouldn’t?” Mrs. Fold dropped her head in a moment of exasperation as young Bill concluded, “Adults, you tell us kids to do the right thing, but when it’s your turn, you just make excuses. Looks like a bunch of bad examples to me.”
Bill demanded immediate action, “Hand me your phone, Mrs. Fold, I’m calling the authorities and don’t try to stop me.” Bill made the call and told TDT, “I only hope the authorities carry out their responsibilities, isn’t that what they’re paid to do?”