To The Editor:

All of us with email accounts have seen them: the long emails, forwarded multiple times, recounting the joys and tribulations of the decade in which we grew up. Emails reminding us of how things were when we were young, how we survived and how the “kids” of today have it so easy.

Well, the Missouri House and Senate would like to make your kids’ and grandkids’ lives even easier and they’ll do it at a steep cost to Missouri taxpayers.

The Constitutional Amendment on the Aug. 7 ballot specifically allows a student to decide that they do not have to “perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations” under certain circumstances.

Which raises the question, why on Earth would anyone decide that it is up to a student to decide which work they will or will not do? If you know teenagers, you know that there are times when, in their desire to get to their friend’s house or finish playing the latest video game, they will slide by with the bare minimum of effort to complete an assignment. Well, the Legislature just gave them an excuse to simply not do the work; why say your dog ate your homework, when you can just say “I don’t want to do it”?

And how will Missourians end up paying for this? Well, the language of the amendment is so muddled and confusing that there are rumblings that lawyers are already salivating at the idea of going after school districts for violations of the proposed rules. For anyone who pays property taxes that go toward schools, your money will be used to defend these suits. And worse yet, students who work hard and play by the rules (and who have no wish to shirk their assignments) as well as parents who actually expect their schools to educate will also be punished – more money for lawyers equals less money for the schools meaning larger class sizes, cuts in programs and less personal teacher attention.

So, that kid who decides he doesn’t want to do his homework — he’s not just hurting himself, he’s hurting all his classmates too.

Let’s stop this foolishness by voting no on Amendment 2.