It sounded like a good idea to take fourth graders to their state legislature to observe how democracy works.
In the spirit of learning by doing, students drafted a bill to learn the process of how a bill becomes law. They proposed House Bill 373, an act establishing the Red Tail Hawk as the New Hampshire State Raptor.
The proposed bill passed out of the Environment and Agriculture committee and came to the floor for a vote, which is when things turned … well, normal.
Legislator Warren Groen opposed the selection of the Red Tail Hawk because of the way it attacks its prey:
It grasps them with its talons then uses its razor sharp beak to basically tear it apart limb by limb, and I guess the shame about making this a state bird is it would serve as a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood.
Another Republican opposed the bill:
Bottom line, if we keep bringing more of these bills, and bills, and bills forward that really I think we shouldn’t have in front of us, we’ll be picking a state hot dog next.
The lawmakers (aka children’s dream destroyers) voted down the bill 133 to 160, while the students watched from the gallery.
Some people objected to the comments from Groen, especially since there were children and their families watching. But Groen defended his comments: “Should we limit free speech? Or should we limit who goes in the gallery?”
Maybe there is another group whose killer instincts might make them better suited to using the Red Tail Hawk as their mascot.
[Hat tip to Slate.]