By Micah Hanks
A chief of police in Ohio’s Whitehouse area has resigned, one month after accusations were made of having an open container of alcohol in her patrol vehicle. Chief Kathleen Hartle oversaw a school’s anti-drug program in the area. Her resignation was accepted by Waterville Township trustees on Wednesday.
Having served seven years with Anthony Wayne school, Hartle was a D.A.R.E. officer. An incident that occurred on Aug. 26 spurred the allegations, where Hartle was asked to leave a routine township meeting. According to Trustee Les Disher, Hartle “had trouble speaking.”
Indeed, it is sometimes difficult to live by example. However, the tragic irony of this circumstance is difficult to overlook. Since ancient times, the adage that “we become the things we hate” seems to have governed a strange pre-destination of sorts in the collective mind of humanity. In this case, perhaps the lesson learned is that repression of our hidden desires is never the right angle to solving a problem, nor is living a lie.
From my earliest remembrances of D.A.R.E. program meetings, here in the deep south it was easy to discern tee-totaling notions of “alcohol is bad, no matter what” being espoused to our children. Granted, this isn’t always the case, nor is it the intention; however, educating children about alcohol’s dangers in a strict, straightforward way often leaves young impressionable minds with the notion that “alcohol is bad… period!” Yet, strangely, in foreign cultures where beer and other spirits are so steeped in culture that children are around them all the time, statistically there are shown to be fewer problems with alcoholism and other plights.
Might a different approach to education be the key? In the case of this sad story from Ohio, could intervention have occurred at another time that might have influenced all parties? These things may be worthy of consideration, rather than leaping to conclusions and demonizing guilty parties. Yes, we must stand up and take responsibility for our actions, but as terrible as the circumstances are that surround this ironic story, perhaps there are greater lessons that could be learned.