We spent a good part of last week following around a bunch of kids. As junior high and high school students ditched class and took to the streets of downtown Boise in protest of education reforms, we were there with cameras and our trusty notepads documenting the scene. Some of the adults I've talked to about the students' behavior dismiss the protests, saying the students were simply mimicking their parents and teachers and ultimately, their peers.
I have no doubt that's true in some cases, but a few of the students had well-crafted questions about Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna's proposed reforms. Sure, maybe those questions were crafted by their parents, and sure, the choice of venue and the manner in which the students sometimes chose to make their voices heard was inappropriate. But I can tell you, having covered local protests as a reporter, that not everyone who stands with a group on any issue understands the complexities of the issue at hand--many are simply aping their peers, as many of these students were.
Regardless of how well the protesting students understood the issue, they were getting one important lesson: In America, you can gather at your state's Capitol, you can chant, you can criticize your lawmakers, and you have a right to do so. At Citydesk at boiseweekly.com you'll find video, photos and reporting of the students' protests, as well as answers to some of the students' questions from Luna's camp.
Meanwhile, in this edition of Boise Weekly, we yet again turn an eye to medical marijuana. As states bordering Idaho legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and as some lawmakers continue to build steam behind their annual push for legalization in Idaho, some Gem State residents aren't waiting for Idaho to get its act together. Instead, they're crossing the state's borders in search of treatment. News Editor George Prentice takes us inside an Ontario, Ore., medical marijuana dispensary that gets plenty of Idaho business while the Legislature considers the newest version of Idaho's Medical Marijuana bill.