The News-Item's cheers and jeers for the past week of news:

Jeers to the Snyder County woman who challenged mandatory kindergarten attendance rules for her twin girls because she had trouble getting them up in time for school. The court ruled that while kindergarten is not mandatory, once a student is enrolled, the child is subject to compulsory attendance requirements. This case speaks to the unfortunate state of parenting today, where adults are not only failing to instill discipline in their children, but are challenging their right to do so in court.

Speaking of poor parenting, jeers to the Elysburg mother who has allowed her autistic 7-year-old son to wander the streets barefooted on three occasions. She earned sympathy from the court in having a felony endangering charge reduced to a misdemeanor, and she may clear her record if she successfully completes the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. She should consider herself fortunate, both that her son wasn't harmed and that she has the opportunity to put this embarrassment behind her.

Cheers to the Sunbury-based Degenstein Foundation and its $1 million contribution to Geisinger Health System's study of the health impacts of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale region. Marcellus Shale has provided the greatest economic development opportunity in a century in Pennsylvania and has already helped the state rebound, but its impact on the environment, particularly the risk to water supplies, remains a concern. The sooner we understand that impact, the better, and the health study should provide the needed research.

Cheers to Jeep Jamboree USA for planning not one but two visits this summer to the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA). Cheers as well to AOAA and Shamokin officials for their plan to bring the jamboree registration process into town, creating an event that will help build a relationship with the community and soothe some earlier strain between AOAA and the city. It's exciting to see the AOAA coming up to speed.