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Summer break is time for Sworn to Refuse

CU Boulder students, faculty and staff are travelers, wouldn’t you agree? Come summer break, so many of you run off to all corners of the United States and the globe, for return home, R&R, work, travel, sport, research, romance, exploration and more.

Now, I believe that, at this particular point in America’s history, many of you would very much like to use some portion of your summer to contribute toward building and strengthening the national bulwark against government corruption, law-breaking and rights violation. “But how could I make an actual difference,” you rightly ask, “when the rule of law is so often being questioned, doubted, attacked and trampled under by government employees and certain media pundits at the highest levels?”

Sworn to Refuse, a nonpartisan organization founded here in Boulder, has a simple, profound goal: that, as soon as possible, all oath-taking government employees and contract workers in federal, state, county, municipal and other governments (e.g. school districts) in the United States be informed, encouraged and supported that they have the right and responsibility to refuse any order or directive the fulfillment of which would cause them to violate their oath.

Imagine a veritable minefield of conscientious government workers, committed to following their oaths of office, spanning the whole country and populating our military and foreign service corps, their individual identities unknown, ready to refuse illegitimate orders and report such orders or witnessed improprieties to the proper authorities and/or news media. Imagine the pause this state of affairs would give to those in high places engaged in corruption or planning to violate people’s civil or human rights. Imagine the misrule that would be prevented or exposed and shut down.

The urgency of our country’s present moment is driving Sworn to Refuse to make every effort to spread our message nationally. This is where you, dear traveling readers, can have real impact. When you return home for vacation, when you voyage to distant places and meet fellow Americans, when you’re catching up on correspondence, you can use these opportunities to educate people about Sworn to Refuse’s project and how they can take part in it. You can also communicate directly with people you know personally who are in government, write to your representatives, contact city council members, and/or write to local news media.

Contact Sworn to Refuse via sworntorefuse.info@gmail.com for ideas and materials to use in your outreach. Thank you.

Matt Nicodemus, co-coordinator of Sworn to Refuse, Boulder

Schools should provide programs for children with disabilities

According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, 1 in 5 children in the U.S. has learning or attention disorders such as dyslexia or ADHD. As an undergraduate student at CU Boulder, I am currently working toward my bachelors degree in neuroscience and psychology. I have always been fascinated with the brain and am planning on dedicating my time to take my knowledge of the brain and assist individuals with mental disabilities.

Statistics suggest that children with learning disabilities struggle with educational endeavors in the classroom more than their peers. Is your child’s school prepared to supply additional resources for children who require extra assistance? I have volunteered with a day care facility for children with mental disabilities quite a bit in high school. Due to this exposure with Respite Care Inc., I have grown very fond of giving children the care that best suits them. It would be an asset to schools across the nation if we implemented more programs for these children not only academically but socially. The program Unified might be familiar to some, but it should be understood by all.

I was introduced to Unified in my high school, where children with disabilities were partnered with a student peer. Together, they would study and exchange help on their homework. This program made a noticeable difference in their overall comfort in the classroom. When a child with a disability has a familiar face in the classroom, it can be very helpful for them to comfortably focus and succeed. Programs that give children these opportunities to feel included should be a major focal point as an addition to every school in our country.

Maggie O’Grady, Boulder

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