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Some Days You Just Can’t Stay Off the Internet

You know how it is. You’re just about to sign off and something catches your eye, makes you go “Huh?” and you’re hooked for another hour or so. The other day I scanned a news item about the new laws that would go into effect in Indiana on July 1 and had just such a moment.

Illustration by Arwin Provonsha, Purdue Department of Entomology

It wasn’t the announcement of a new state insect…I have a real soft spot for Say’s Firefly, also known as pyractomena angulate or more commonly here in southern Indiana the lightning bug. Great choice. There’s nothing like a summer evening, dusk falling, kids still out playing and then…that first flash. Then another. Suddenly the kids are running around, jumping in the air, begging for jars with holes punched in the lid. What kid hasn’t dreamed of collecting enough lightning bugs to fill a jar and light their room at night? Lightning bugs are the most benign, gentle and rewarding bugs I know.

But the notice that the lightning bug is now Indiana’s official state insect isn’t what caught my eye (no pun intended). What actually grabbed my attention was the new law that makes eyeball tattoos illegal.

Wait…what?

I asked a young co-worker about this and it turns out this is a very real “thing,” tattooing one’s eyeball. I was young once, and I did some very stupid things both as a youngster and as a supposedly mature adult, but two questions come to mind…1) who would want this done and 2) who would agree to do it? Oh, and question #3…what could possibly go wrong?

Anyway, this triggered an interest in seeing what other wacky laws got passed this year, so here are some interesting ones:

Sunscreen: Public school students are allowed to carry and use non-aerosol sunscreen without having to provide a doctor’s note to their school or store their sunscreen in a specific school location. School personnel also can help students apply sunscreen with the written permission of the student’s parent. (Senate Enrolled Act 24)

It’s just a shame when common sense has to be legislated, don’t you think?

Soft Skills: Indiana schools must include employability skills in their curriculum, beginning in the 2019-20 school year. The specific “soft skills” to be taught, such as on-time arrival and ability to take direction, will be decided by the Indiana Department of Education and Department of Workforce Development. (Senate Enrolled Act 297)

Seems a shame we have to have a law to teach these skills…and have to mandate the schools to do it…just saying’.

Cursive: School corporations are explicitly authorized to teach cursive handwriting as an optional curriculum component. That’s already been the practice since 2011 when keyboarding instruction replaced cursive in the state’s educational standards. (House Enrolled Act 1420)

Whew! They haven’t outlawed cursive yet and schools can teach it if they want to. Good to know and also good to know there is a law to make that clear!

And my personal favorite:

Obsolete Words Eliminated: The words “herein, hereafter, hereinafter, therein, theretofore, hereunder, hereinunder, heretofore, hereinabove and thereunder” are replaced throughout the Indiana Code with simpler terms. State officeholder duties are revised to eliminate gender-specific pronouns. (HEA 1031)

I have nothing sarcastic to say about this, except maybe, it’s about time!

If you want to know more about what has become legal or illegal in Indiana as of July 1, 2018, you can go to The Indiana Lawyer website at:

https://www.theindianalawyer.com/articles/47413-new-laws-for-2018

1 Comment

  1. kpage

    Interesting fact! Did not know Indiana had an official state insect.

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