Chaos at school boards unacceptable

To the Journal editor:

On Oct. 4, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a statement regarding the increase of threats against school district personnel and board members nationwide, as well as an increase in violent and aggressive confrontations at school board meetings.

Attorney General Merrick Garland also wrote a memorandum that day, advising law enforcement organizations of the mounting risks. I’ve read stories from news sources across the country (and) seen dozens of videos that sadly went viral of this. School board meetings becoming ideological battlegrounds echoing talking points that range from the biased to the absurd shouted at maximum volume.

Even video of punches thrown by grown adults over something as basic as public health measures. But the real issue is that I’m not the only one watching the education meltdown in real time. Our ever tech savvy youth surely are as well, and it’s teaching them the most important lesson of the year: That they, and their future, will never be as important to us as our hyper partisan tug-of-war.

These outbursts are more than a national disgrace. They are reducing our children’s limited educational resources to leverage in a futile culture war sortie. Impressionable students are mere pawns in a war of words where there isn’t a thought in the warrior’s heads that Fox News or MSNBC didn’t put there. The youth realize this, make no mistake. I may be 20 years removed from high school, but I remember the contempt kids had for authority then, when it was still grounded in reason and public trust. The new generation would be fools to respect such authority.

Why trust a generation that needs the attorney general’s efforts to keep a simple school board meeting from becoming a wrestling match? I never thought I’d be typing these words. I bet AG Garland didn’t, either, but here we are.

From here forward, I propose we stop these humiliating games and focus on what’s truly important: regaining our children’s trust and respect in our… institutions.

If we can’t do that, well, we really don’t have a country worth fighting over anyway.


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