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Senator Sessions speaks to students at GHS

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions was in Greenville on Friday, and the highlight of his visit was when he spoke to students at the Greenville High School.

Speaking to three American History classes, the band and athletics classes, Senator Sessions explained processes of federal government.

"James Madison was the father of our constitution, and when he and other statesmen wrote the U.S. Constitution, they put forth a vast amount of wisdom-the result is that in over 200 years, the Constitution has been referred to whenever a question of procedure in federal government has arisen."

Sessions gave examples of how the constitution comes into play. "When there were questions a few years ago about impeachment proceedings, they were answered by the Constitution," he said. "If there was ever a tie in a federal election, the Constitution would address it.

"And most recently, when questions came up about the ballots in the election, the Supreme Court answered those questions through the Constitution."

The Senator also encouraged students to stay in school, and complete their educations.

In an informal question and answer period that followed, one student asked the Senator to explain the difference between a Democrat and a Republican.

"I would have to say that the Republicans believe in leaving the power of government to the people," he said. "Unlike the Democrats, we believe that the government can't do everything, but rather that the people can."

While in Greenville, Senator Sessions went to the Butler County Courthouse Annex, to speak at the County employees' luncheon.

"I will soon have been to all 67 counties," Sessions said. "I try to visit in each county at least once a year."

He then talked about his visit to the high school. "I have been to probably 20 schools this year, and I would have to say that Greenville High School is the finest facility that I have been in."

Sessions then spent some time discussing education in general. "I believe that George W. Bush has the right idea about schools," he said. "Education is a local and state function-the federal government only provides seven percent of the funds for schools-we should not be micro-managing education."

The Senator then explained with an example. "Take the case of a emotionally disabled student," he said. "This kid sold drugs to two other students. The rules that were in place called for the students to be expelled from school, and the two that had purchased the drugs were.

"But because the dealer was disabled, he was only suspended from school for 30 or 40 days. That is a case of the federal government interfering in local issues, and hindering the safety of the school's teachers in the process."

When Senator Sessions offered to answer any questions, Circuit Clerk Allen Stephenson asked about any reform regarding the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), citing its impact on jobs and industry in the southern states.

"This (south-central) area of the state has really taken a hit from the lack of industry, largely as a result of NAFTA," Sessions said. "I am supportive of incentive programs that will help the southern counties of this state with industry."

Commenting on the economy, Sessions blamed the fuel industry. "I personally think that we have been in a recession for a while-ever since the fuel prices started going up," he said. "We are exercising what I would term extreme environmentalism', effectively putting so many limitations on the oil industry in this country, that the OPEC nations have effectively taxed us with their oil prices."

Sessions also passed blame on to the current White House administration for the problems with the military. "It distresses me that we have such a large amount of military captains leaving the armed forces," he said. "Seeing such a reduction in the junior officer categories is not good for the continuation of the military.

"We are operating on 40-percent less military forces, and that means that our service men and women must spend more time deployed in other countries around the world.

"As a result, you have a lower morale among the armed forces personnel, and less interest in careers. People in the service aren't there for the pay, they are there because of a sense of duty-start putting emotional strains on them by keeping them deployed, and they will leave the service."

In closing, Sessions commended Greenville citizens. "I can't think of another town in South Alabama that has done more, and made more positive enhancements toward growth of its community that Greenville has.""Education is a local and state function-the federal government only provides seven percent of the funds for schools-we should not be micro-managing education."

He then explained with an example. "Take the case of a emotionally disabled student," he said. "This kid sold drugs to two other students. The rules that were in place called for the students to be expelled–the two that had purchased the drugs were.

"Because the dealer was disabled, he was only suspended from school for 30 days. That is a case of the federal government interfering in local issues, and hindering the safety of the school's teachers in the process."

When Senator Sessions offered to answer any questions, Circuit Clerk Allen Stephenson asked about any reform regarding the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), citing its impact on jobs and industry in the southern states.

"This area of the state has really taken a hit from the lack of industry, largely as a result of NAFTA," Sessions said. "I am supportive of incentive programs that will help the southern counties of this state with industry."

Commenting on the economy, Sessions blamed the fuel industry. "I think that we have been in a recession for a while-ever since the fuel prices started going up.

"We are exercising what I would term extreme environmentalism', effectively putting so many limitations on the oil industry in this country, that the OPEC nations have effectively taxed us with their oil prices."

Sessions also blamed the current White House administration for the problems with the military. "It distresses me that we have such a large amount of military captains leaving the armed forces," he said. "Such a reduction in junior officers is not good for the military.

"We are operating with 40-percent less military forces, which means that our service men and women must spend more time deployed in other countries around the world.

"As a result, you have lower morale among the armed forces. People in the service aren't there for pay, they are there because of a sense of duty."

In closing, Sessions commended Greenville citizens. "I can't think of another town in South Alabama that has done more, and made more positive enhancements toward growth of its community that Greenville has."