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SPHINCTER SPOTLIGHT: Rep. Valarie Hodges — Endangerer of Children

Sphincter Spotlight

A state legislator from Denham Springs demonstrated Thursday just how little regard she has for the health and well-being of Louisiana’s children.

Eight days after originally shelving it due to negative criticism from her colleagues, Republican Rep. Valarie Hodges doubled down on her measure that would require public school students in grades four, five, and six to engage every day in an activity proven to render people unconscious.

Just hours after personally witnessing a gentleman pass out in the State Capitol as he recited the Declaration of Independence, Hodges callously revived and managed to get the House to advance legislation mandating local school boards to require those students to do what made Shreveport’s Kenneth Krefft lose consciousness in Memorial Hall: House Bill 1035 calls for them to recite a portion of Thomas Jefferson’s most famous text.

Sarah Young treats Kenneth Krefft after he was incapacitated while reciting the Declaration of Independence. Haughton Rep. Dodie Horton fans him with his tri-corner hat. (Photo credit: Mark Ballard, Advocate)
Sarah Young treats Kenneth Krefft after he passed out while reciting the Declaration of Independence. Haughton Rep. Dodie Horton fans him with his tri-corner hat. (Photo credit: Mark Ballard, Advocate)

Yes, despite seeing the obvious and terrifying medical distress reciting our nation’s founding document can cause a person, Hodges heartlessly pressed forward in her desire to see young Louisiana children be required to participate — every single school day — in that empirically hazardous ritual.

The fact she would do such a thing, especially following a dramatic demonstration of the potential health hazards such recitation can present, is nothing short of outrageous. Has the woman no shame? How dare she author and lobby for a measure that could ultimately lead to thousands of preteens needing medical attention on a daily basis?

And make no mistake about it: Krefft’s collapse was caused by the activity he was engaged in. His son said he “got too excited during his Declaration of Independence recital.”

Fortunately, a paramedic was on hand to administer aid as an ashen Krefft, dressed as Thomas Jefferson, lay flat on the floor. Krefft later was taken out of the Capitol on a stretcher and transported to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.

When you’re as learned about scientific principles as Hodges is, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that coincidence equals causality.

Now, some may argue that reciting the Declaration of Independence doesn’t cause medical problems, that Krefft could’ve encountered the same issue by getting excited about any number of things after failing to take his blood pressure medication.

However, those who ascribe to such logical fallacies aren’t as scientifically enlightened as Rep. Hodges. She may be a cold-hearted woman who longs for schoolchildren to suffer medical emergencies day after day, but she’s nothing if not highly intelligent. And when you’re as learned about scientific principles as Hodges is, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that coincidence equals causality.

In other words, if a thing happens while one is doing something else, the something else caused the thing that happened. It’s the same principle that explains why an increase in ice cream sales causes an increase in the murder rate, or why vaccines cause autism. It’s rock-solid science.

Fortunately, Hodges revived her bill with only a few days left in the regular session, which meant by the time the Senate received it and referred it to the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee, only one day remained for further action. The bill died when the session ended at 6 p.m. Monday without the committee ever taking it up for consideration.

But the fact Louisiana children dodged a bullet, having been spared from being compelled to participate in a dangerous activity, does not absolve Hodges of her blatant indifference for their welfare. Who’s to say her wanton disregard for the well-being of our state’s kids won’t drive her to bring back her bill in a later regular legislative session?

We can only hope and pray she develops a conscience between now and then.RedShtick-Top-ColumnStop

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