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Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:<!—->.

Wednesday, December 06, 2000

Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer

Over the years, people have been sickened by stories of a newborn baby abandoned in a trash cans or left in a toilet during the school prom.

One of the answers cropping up across the country, and recently in Summit County, is a return to an ancient practice of allowing desperate mothers to abandon their babies in safe places without fear of prosecution.

All Summit County hospitals are part of the program, called A Safe Place for Newborns. It will accept uninjured babies less than 3 days old, as long as their mothers fill out a lengthy medical form. Neither mother nor baby must be from Summit County.

Although reviving that practice might touch the lives of only a few babies each year, it could make the difference between life or death for abandoned infants and prevent a lifetime of neglect and abuse for children who leave the hospital with mothers who don’t want them.

The Columbus Dispatch

The promise of Ohio’s charter schools is rooted in their freedom from many of the state regulations that bind other public schools.

But without that most fundamental ability, the ability to read, children simply will not be able to play a productive role in society. All the academic flexibility and creativity in the world won’t make up for illiteracy. And so charter schools should be required to handle those students who fail the fourth-grade reading test in the same manner as do traditional schools.

Under current state law, beginning next school year, those fourth-graders who don’t pass the reading section of the fourth-grade proficiency test will remain in that grade indefinitely. The law applies to traditional public and private schools, but charter schools now enjoy a loophole that exempts them from holding back children who fail.

Now, as the state mulls changing the way proficiency tests are implemented, it’s time to hold charter schools to the same standard as all other schools on this most fundamental requirement.

The (Warren) Tribune-Chronicle

The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 28 took a small step in protecting innocent American citizens from unreasonable searches when it ruled 6-3 that police roadblocks designed to intercept illegal drugs violated the Fourth Amendment.

The Supreme Court has upheld checkpoints aimed at stopping the smuggling of illegal aliens into the United States or getting drunken drivers off the road. The court said that drug checkpoints are different, that their general aim is crime control.

We think the court was right to draw the line.

While people may have less privacy in their cars than in their homes, we do not think police should have the power to stop them without a reason.