- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 30, 2002

Lightning rod

We're told that the once-embattled Katherine Harris is wrapping up the final chapter of a book she's been quietly writing, appropriately titled: "Center of the Storm: Practicing Principled Leadership in a Time of Crisis."

"It's more about leadership skills and specific principles she drew on during the recount" of disputed Florida ballots, says our source in Sarasota, than Mrs. Harris' current bid for Congress. "However, she will touch on some events about Election 2000."

Those events could fill volumes. It was Mrs. Harris, as Florida's secretary of state, who ultimately declared George W. Bush the winner of her state's widely contested presidential sweepstakes, casting her into well, as the book title states, the center of the storm.

Eye of the beholder

Washington public relations mogul Hugh C. Newton is back in town after spending a week in scenic Monument Valley, which slices through the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona.

No sooner did Mr. Newton get home and pick up a copy of The Washington Times that he read about one Maryland public school system that was asked to ban Indian-inspired team names.

Richard Regan, a Lumbee-Cheraw Indian, unsuccessfully demanded that the Washington County school system change the names of the Boonsboro High School Warriors and the Conococheague Elementary School Indians.

Mr. Regan argued in a complaint that such names demean American Indians, promote poor race relations and destroy the self-esteem of American Indian schoolchildren.

Fresh from his journey West, and having camped in one of the largest Indian reservations in the country, Mr. Newton isn't so sure.

"And I have visual proof," he tells Inside the Beltway, forwarding the photograph that appears today of a large sign erected outside Red Mesa High School. It reads: "Red Mesa Redskins."

"I heard it was true and went looking for the high school," explains Mr. Newton, a longtime fan of the Washington Redskins. "Several Indians I talked to said they were proud of the name "

As for Mr. Regan, who doesn't even live in Washington County (he's a suburban Washington resident), acting schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan ruled that he had no standing to make such demands because nicknames like "Indians" and "Warriors" are used respectfully to honor the dignity and courage of American Indians.

When in Washington

Weapons bans put in place in our nation's schools albeit for good reason are having a negative effect on cultural and historical education.

Consider this letter sent home to D.C. families of Latin III students at St. Anselm's Abbey School, regarding a "Roman Military Re-enactor Event."

"Dear Parents of Form III Latin Students: I tried but was unable due to D.C. school-weapons law to have an historic re-enactor who heads a local Roman Legion, Quints of Legion X, come to school to demonstrate his equipment on Field Day.

"However, Quints recently reminded me that his legion will encamp for a weekend at Marietta Mansion in Prince George's County June 8-9. I will copy below his description of the details in case you and your [child] would like to attend. It should be fascinating."

The fifth annual Roman Days, as the event is called, is a display of ancient military and domestic living history, hosted by the 20th Legion. Representatives from the Gaelic provinces will be on hand, Bean the Barbarian, "plus any Greeks, Siberians, Ice Men, etc., that turn up, but naturally, the emphasis will be on Rome. Not just military re-enactors, but civilians, teachers, war gamers if you have any interest in ancient history, please come."

For as they say in Rome:

Roman Days are here again

The Roman folks can cheer again

And practice with their spear again

Roman Days are here again.

Barr's bill

Everybody, including Congress, realizes teachers in this country don't get paid what they're worth.

So a bill will soon be introduced in Congress to amend the Internal Revenue Code and provide a refundable tax credit of $1,000 to teachers of elementary- and secondary-school students, and to provide and expand deductions for unreimbursed expenses for continuing education and classroom materials for teachers.

The author of the bill is Rep. Bob Barr, Georgia Republican.

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