SCHOOL CANDIDATES DISCUSS EVOLUTION, FINANCES: Opinions on evolution as part of school curriculum, and financial equity in schools were the two topics addressed by school board candidates at a Friday meeting of the Muleskinners, a group of Boone County Democrats.
Candidates were given a brief introduction followed by two questions from members of the audience.
Candidates were asked to express their opinions in 60 seconds on how the theory of evolution and intelligent design should be used in public school curriculums.
All the candidates — except Don Ludwig who was absent — agreed religion should be an individual choice.
“Let people stand for what they believe,” candidate David Ballenger said.
Candidate Mike Martin said schools should teach evolution until “theology becomes a science.”
Other arguments to keep intelligent design out of the curriculum included: religion should be taught by the family, the curriculum is already crowded enough, and evolution is the only scientific backed form of creation.
In response to a question about why there is financial inequity among schools within the district, most candidates suggested it was largely due to the amount of participation from the PTA and individual school fund-raisers.
Candidate Arch Brooks said he believes major changes to the current school board need to be made because the board is not adequately providing resources to the schools.
— Stephanie Hoffmann
PARENTS REMINDED OF VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS: Parents who are registering their children for kindergarten for the 2005-06 school year may also need to think about getting their children the vaccinations required by Missouri law.
Children can get vaccinated starting when they are 4 and must have their shots before they enter kindergarten.
There are three standard shots for children entering school: diphtheria, tetanus and accellular protesis vaccination, also called DTaP; a shot for measles, mumps and rubella, also called MMR; and the injectable polio vaccine, also known as IPV. Children may also need to get immunized for hepatitis B and chicken pox if they haven’t already had the disease.
The Columbia/Boone County Health Department is offering immunizations for children on a walk-in basis from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1005 W. Worley St. There is a $5 administration fee for all three standard shots or however many the child needs.
— Lynsea Garrison
TEACHER AWAITS BIOPSY OF BRAIN TUMOR: Grant Elementary School music teacher Melissa Guillotte, 22, successfully underwent surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor at Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic.
As of Friday, she had said little to her husband, Andrew, but was resting in the hospital’s intensive care unit, said Crystal Church, principal of Grant Elementary and a spokeswoman for the family.
Church said Guillotte’s husband reported that Melissa seemed to be doing OK after the surgery. He is there with Melissa’s parents, Wes and Sandy Robinson.
The results of the biopsy will not be known for another few days; however, doctors did say Melissa’s tumor had grown in the past week.
Guillotte was diagnosed with the brain tumor in February. A fund-raiser organized by parents to help the first-year teacher with her medical and living expenses raised more than $15,000.
— Stephanie Hoffmann