The state of Washington has a very sensible rule that prohibits the granting of a liquor license to any business that is within 500 feet of a school. But there is one problem—the rule applies only to public schools. Just ask Dr. Robert B. Scripko, Principal of St. Alphonsus, a Catholic school in Seattle: it is his school that is being targeted.
Within 325 feet of St. Alphonsus, the 99 Cent Plus Smoke Shop has been granted a liquor license to sell beer and wine. The Catholic League has come to the defense of the school, maintaining that the restriction which applies to public schools “has nothing to do with any sectarian principles, but rather with the desire of the state of Washington to protect children from the dangers or negative influences that might be attendant to the sale of alcohol in close proximity to a school building.”
We have written to Governor Gary Locke and the top three officials of the Washington State Liquor Control Board. Justice demands that the welfare of Catholic kids counts as much as their public school cohorts.