OUR VIEW: What kind of example will we be to our children?

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Last week the city of Poplar Bluff announced it had settled three lawsuits that had been brewing since 2016 with workers who felt they were being discriminated against by age, race or gender.

The case was settled out of court for $155,000. The insurance company will pick up the check for all but $10,000.

We don’t know, and likely will never know, exactly what took place during the months and years in question. It was only detailed in court documents and never vetted in a court of law.

Some of it also took place under a former city manager and a former street department superintendent, both of whom left city employment under a cloud, for different reasons. We’ve reported on both extensively, and won’t go over old ground again here.

What we do know is that the circumstances as they were described in court documents, do happen. Men and women are harassed in their workplaces because of race, gender, age, sexuality and many different things that simply make them different than the majority.

The city was forced to report what took place because it is held accountable, often through the pages of the Daily American Republic, to the taxpayers, even when a confidentiality agreement is part of the settlement.

Not everyone is. Private businesses, on other hand, can keep all of their dirty laundry behind closed doors.

When students returned to school this week, districts geared up programs that target bullying in schools. They try to teach youth about the words and actions that are harmful. They try to find ways to create more compassionate human beings, who seek to build a more inclusive world.

We’ve asked that of our schools, in the wake of tragedies like school shootings.

But what do we do if we fail, as adults, to demonstrate the very characteristics we say our children need?

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