Support Responsible Bethel Youth

I would like to commend and thank the youth who put together the informative radio ad concerning the negative consequences of the use of alcohol. It’s a very informative ad bringing out how it affects more than just the individual using alcohol, but also the effects on family, friends, contributes to cases of domestic violence and number of sexual assaults.

I would like to encourage this same group to create a similar ad concerning the potential negative effects of the use of marijuana. With Bethel’s first marijuana store opening and making multiple forms available, including edibles and candies, very tempting for elementary students to try, there needs to be information and caution as to the effects of using marijuana. For youth to hear it from their peers would be beneficial.

Bonnie Bradbury, Bethel, AK

The Biggest Mistake Parents Make When It Comes to Education

This National School Choice Week (January 26 – February 1), I want to share with you one of the most common short-circuits that parents run into when choosing the right school for their child. That way, if you see it coming, you can run the other way.

It starts with a thought like this: “Do I as a parent really know best about my child’s education? After all, I don’t have a graduate degree in education. There’s a lot of school jargon I’m not sure about. Should I let more equipped people make the calls about where and how my child is educated?”

I understand the tendency to think that way. But I work with tens of thousands of school leaders around the country – the “education experts” – every year, and here’s what I believe:

You know your child better than anyone else. You are the expert on your child as a whole person—How they learn, experience the world, and what they’re passionate about. You are best positioned to help your student find the learning environment where their unique self will be cared for and inspired. Nobody is more invested in your child’s happiness than you.

The biggest mistake you can make as a parent is not recognizing that power you hold. Not only are you best equipped to make choices for your child’s education, but it can be one of the most rewarding things you ever do! When a parent finds a learning environment where their child’s potential is unleashed, it can mean the difference between that child finding success and confidence, or feeling like a failure.

Change that starts with parents is the single most powerful way to improve education in Alaska. Seek advice and use research, certainly, but also believe in your instinct and expertise as a parent. Around the country there’s evidence that, when we make it easier for parents to choose, they do make good choices for their child’s education. We’ve seen the positive impact accessible school options have had in places like Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and more.

In Alaska, there are a variety of educational options that families can choose from: traditional public schools, charter schools, magnet schools, private schools, online schools, and homeschooling.

School choice is the starting point for better schools, where families are personally invested and there is a strong human connection and open communication between parents and teachers. When students learn that learning is something to be excited by, invested in, and challenged by, that shapes their perspective for life.

This School Choice Week, parents, students, and educators in Alaska will participate in more than 93 events and activities, celebrating all types of K-12 education and sharing knowledge with each other. It’s also a celebration of parents recognizing their power and choosing to be involved in their child’s education. This Week, realize your power as a parent and start thinking about what learning environment can best inspire your child to happiness in the 2020-2021 school year.

A nationally recognized advocate for children and families, Andrew R. Campanella serves as president of National School Choice Week, the world’s largest-annual celebration of opportunity in education. He lives in Miami, Florida.

Congressman Don Young’s Statement Following Iranian Missile Attacks on American Installations in Iraq

Today (Jan. 8th, 2020), in response to Iranian missile strikes on military installations housing American servicemembers in Iraq, Alaska Congressman Don Young released the following statement:

We are all very grateful that no American servicemembers were harmed by last night’s attacks by Iran on military installations in Iraq. I am especially thankful that our Alaska-based soldiers serving in Iraq are safe and accounted for following the strike, and pray for their continued safety. We must be clear-eyed about this situation; Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism and continues to be a bad-faith actor in the diplomatic arena. Qasem Soleimani was a terrorist who committed heinous atrocities and facilitated human rights abuses against the oppressed people of Iran. Freedom-loving people everywhere shed no tears for his loss, and our world is a safer place without him. America’s military is strong and stands ready to defend our citizens, allies, and way of life against further aggression by the Iranian regime. I am grateful for President Trump’s strong leadership as the world comes together in support of the Iranian peoples’ pursuit of liberty.

U.S. Congressman Don Young, Washington, D.C.

Senator Murkowski statement regarding terrorist.

Senator Murkowski’s statement: I am pleased to support Senator Cruz’s resolution commending the President and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and intelligence community for the successful operation against Qasem Soleimani. It has long been known that General Soleimani and the Iranian Quds Force are dangerous and destructive members of one of the largest terrorist groups in the world. For decades the U.S. attempted to dissuade Soleimani and the Quds Force from continued aggression against the U.S. and our allies. They are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American servicemembers and repeated attacks on American facilities, including the horrible and unacceptable attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that recently took place. The actions taken by the U.S. military and intelligence community at the charge of the President were significant, decisive, and eliminated one of the greatest threats to peace in the region. The precision and professionalism of our men and women in uniform and throughout the intelligence services demonstrates why we are all grateful for their service. Through collaboration and continued briefings with my colleagues, the administration, and members of the military community, I hope to find a path forward to de-escalation.

United States Senator Lisa Murkowski, Washington, D.C.

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