Freestanding birthing centers would be vital tools to ease Kentucky’s maternal health crisis
I’ve been a professional birth worker for more than ten years, but I was a birth worker before I even knew what that was. Birth work came naturally to me. Years ago, a family member of mine was pregnant and didn’t have support, so I stepped into that role, and it just felt right. The […]
Republican lawmakers are taking Kentucky back to education’s bad old days
FRANKFORT — Generations of Kentuckians suffered because education was treated as a political spoil. Schools run for the benefit of adults chained the state to poverty. In 1990, the legislature shielded public education from political interference as part of a sweeping reform. Schools improved, Kentuckians became better educated and Kentucky was held up as a model. […]
Life-threatening discrimination against trans youth is legislative malpractice
This column mentions suicide. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. As a retired child psychologist who spent most of my career in Kentucky, I am seriously troubled by Senate Bill 150 and House Bill 470, both directed at transgender youth and […]
What’s so dangerous about books?
When Grandpa Pete died in November 2011, I was in a car full of family members as we drove from the funeral service to the cemetery when someone said, “I’ve never read more than three pages in any book.” This 40-something college graduate went on to tell us that any book worth reading would be […]
Always looking over their shoulders
Kentucky can do more to protect some of its most vulnerable people, in particular women who are experiencing domestic violence. Women deserve the right to live their lives free of violence, free of emotional and physical abuse, and free to carry on their daily activities without wondering if their abusive intimate partner will be waiting in […]
As GOP split widens on Ukraine, McConnell campaigns hard for more military support
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has become one of the most outspoken advocates of stronger support for Ukraine, even as his party displays a deeper split on the issue. McConnell made his position clear last Friday at the Munich Security Conference, repeatedly calling for accelerating and expanding military aid to Ukraine. “I think we ought […]
Parents, pronouns and a place for all in an increasingly diverse world
My oldest granddaughter recently married a non-binary person, meaning “they” reject being labeled either male or female. I have used the wrong pronoun a few times because their caring nature feels feminine to me — which I acknowledge is old-fashioned thinking. I will get the pronouns right because it is callous to misgender someone or […]
‘Cringeworthy’ performances by Quarles, legislature rankle. Especially on a Sunday.
This past Sunday, I did what many of my fellow Kentuckians do: I went to church. I live way out in the country, so on the drive to town I called to check on my dad. He told me my stepmother’s little dog, Magic, had died and that he had taken Magic’s ashes to the […]
House Bill 3 would lock up more kids, even though research shows detention’s harms
All children deserve a chance to succeed, even those who’ve made mistakes. But when we emphasize detention over the supports that we know make a difference for kids, their ability to thrive is severely hampered and public safety in the commonwealth suffers. That’s why lawmakers should fix harmful provisions in House Bill 3 before this […]
Kentucky’s juvenile justice challenges cannot be solved through incarceration alone
It takes just two words to summarize the deeply troubling problems facing Kentucky’s juvenile justice system: systemwide failure. This is not an indictment of any administration, party, branch of government, or group of children’s advocates. It’s an indictment of all of us. For years, Kentucky’s system has let down far too many justice-involved youth by […]
Is the new AP African American Studies course dangerous? Students don’t think so
Three days after the nation honored Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership in the Civil Rights Movement, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Education announced that no Florida public high school would be allowed to teach the nation’s first and only Advanced Placement or AP African American Studies course at the college level. She asserted […]
Do women’s lives matter to federal courts?
Far-reaching legal cases, including a ruling by a Kentucky federal judge, raise serious concerns about whether the lives of women — and their decisions about their own lives — really matter. On Feb. 2, a Texas appellate court issued a ruling that it was unconstitutional to remove guns from abusive domestic partners, putting more women […]