Opinion

Whimsical carvings decorate trees in Orr Park in Montevallo, Alabama. Opinion editor Clay Wirestone walked the park on his recent visit to the state. (Clay Wirestone/Kansas Reflector)

From spine-tingling tales to faces in the trees, Alabama trip puts Kansas in perspective

BY: - August 10, 2022

I was driving along an Alabama backroad with my mother-in-law, hearing about various Southern Gothic deaths that had befallen residents of her neighborhood, when I realized something simple yet important: This country is vast. The contiguous United States stretches more than 2,500 miles from coast to coast. Our 50 states go from sapphire blue to […]

In the Co/efficient poll released this weekend, 47% of the over 1,500 voters sampled support the so-called “Value Them Both” amendment and 43% are against it. The remaining 10% are undecided. (Margaret Mellott/Kansas Reflector)

Contrary to popular belief, Gen Z activists in Kansas have stepped up to cultivate social change

BY: - August 9, 2022

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Rija Nazir is a senior at Wichita State University studying political science with a minor in Spanish. Like many Gen Z voters, my urge to become […]

Attendees of the Kansans for Constitutional Freedom watch party celebrate after primary election results verify Kansans voted to keep abortion a constitutional right on Tuesday. (Lily O'Shea Becker/Kansas Reflector)

These four dumb responses totally misread the stunning Kansas abortion rights vote

BY: - August 8, 2022

You could tell that no one was prepared for the nearly 20-point victory by abortion rights forces in Kansas by the incredibly dumb takes that soon followed. Anti-abortion supporters, insulated by the U.S. Supreme Court over the past half-century from the unpopularity of their beliefs, were faced with a broad public rebuke. This wasn’t a […]

A sign on July 29, 2022, directs voters to the Shawnee County Elections Office. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Johnson County sheriff’s stonewalling on election probe keeps Kansans in the dark

BY: - August 7, 2022

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Max Kautsch is an attorney whose practice focuses on First Amendment rights and open government law. Johnson County Sheriff Calvin Hayden doesn’t want you to know […]

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas speaks at a news conference June 7, 2022, in Washington, D.C., on legislation to provide health care for veterans exposed to burn pits. (Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom)

Rewriting veterans’ stories with a happier ending, thanks to bipartisan Senate effort

BY: - August 6, 2022

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Darrell Ehrlick is the editor-in-chief of the Daily Montanan. I want to thank Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, and Jon Tester, D-Montana. Not on behalf of me, […]

One of the many yard signs weighing in on the Aug. 2 constitutional amendment vote in Kansas states its case. (Eric Thomas/Kansas Reflector)

Blaming mainstream media provides a misleading shortcut for Value Them Both

BY: - August 5, 2022

Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. On election night Tuesday, I read a tweet from Kansas […]

We should definitely appreciate our teachers, writes Mark Schaukowitch. But that means first and foremost recognizing them as professionals. (Getty Images)

Disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline will reduce disparities for Kansans

BY: , and - August 4, 2022

Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Tiffany Anderson, superintendent of Topeka USD 501, and Shannon Portillo, associate dean and professor at the University of Kansas, served as co-chairs of the Governor’s Commission on […]

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, right, embraces Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes at a watch party Tuesday in Overland Park. (Lily O'Shea Becker)

Abortion-rights victory shakes Kansas political landscape from roots to branches

BY: - August 3, 2022

The failure of the anti-abortion amendment in Kansas on Tuesday was more than a single election result. It was an earthquake. That quake rumbled across the U.S. political landscape, surprising onlookers who had expected a tight contest or outright victory for anti-choice forces. All of a sudden, the rough political consensus that had formed since […]

Signs for and against the state constitutional amendment have become a common sight throughout Kansas this summer. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansans embark on statewide civics experiment of abortion amendment vote, outcome unknown

BY: - August 2, 2022

The abortion amendment battle comes to a head this August election day, and if nothing else it proves that civic debate thrives in Kansas. TV ads burble, yard signs protrude and glossy fliers stuff mailboxes from one side of the state to the other. Online forums buzz with the back and forth. Folks chat in […]

Hattie Campbell, seen in a mugshot when she arrived as an 18-year-old in 1925 at the Kansas State Industrial Farm for Women, was one of more than 5,000 Kansas women imprisoned between world wars by a government more intent on enforcing a certain version of sexual morality than solving the health crisis at hand. (Submitted)

Kansas has been here before: Lessons from policing women’s sexuality 100 years ago

BY: - August 1, 2022

Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Nikki Perry is a fourth-generation Kansan and the author of “Policing Sex in the Sunflower State: The Story of the Kansas State Industrial Farm for Women,” a […]

Kansas abolitionist John Brown seizes the attention in the middle of John Steuart Curry's famous "Tragic Prelude" mural at the Kansas Statehouse. (Dave Kendall)

As a ‘Free State,’ Kansas has a long history of deciding who should wield political power

BY: - July 31, 2022

Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Dave Kendall served as producer and host of the “Sunflower Journeys” series on public television for its first 27 seasons and continues to produce documentary videos through […]

With nearly a year passed since Cedric Lofton's death, officials need to step forward and take bold steps in invest in Kansas' young people. (Getty Images)

Young people in Kansas deserve better in wake of Cedric Lofton’s death

BY: and - July 30, 2022

Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Tyler Williams and Yusef Presley are youth leaders with Progeny. While September marks one year since Cedric Lofton was tragically killed at the Sedgwick County Juvenile Intake […]