Last week, a number of New Hampshire fourth-graders went to visit their state legislature. They had designed a bill which would have named the red-tailed hawk as the state raptor.
The bill went down in defeat, and the media have been right to condemn the legislators who laughed at the bill and seemed to ridicule the children’s idea. This is no way to encourage young citizens to participate in a free and interactive government.
However, the media have also appeared to roundly condemn a comment from Representative Warren Groen:
The hawk “grasps them with its talons then uses its razor-sharp beak to basically tear it apart limb by limb,” State Rep. Warren Groen (R) said on the House floor as the class of 10-year-old students watched from the gallery. “And I guess the shame about making this a state bird is it would serve as a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood.”