June 23, 2021
“…schools may not be enclaves of totalitarianism”. Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969)
In this much forgotten landmark ruling the Supreme Court ruled that students didn’t necessarily give up their First Amendment rights when they walk past the schoolhouse doors. Although it applied to some students protesting the Vietnam war it had a broader meaning in that school administrators have no right picking and choosing what is acceptable (non-violent) speech in our public schools.
Fast forward to the Year of Our Lord 2021 in which Guilford County School Superintendent Sharon Contrares is continuing to use the Pandemic as an excuse to limit free speech by not allowing public comments at the school board meetings. The public comment period at government meetings is considered a sacred tenet of the American system of governance but she has evidently decided that it is beneath her to listen to the people that pay her salary. She is using her position of authority to bully the liberals on the board to grant her greatly expanded powers over every aspect of the school system. In a stunning display of cowardly submission the board members are handing it over to her. It begs the question as to why we even elect them at all. So while the rest of America is getting back to business as usual she is resisting any and all efforts to open up the school board meetings.
If you consider this and other instances of ineptitude from school administrators, one in which outsiders, including a thirty six year old mother, entered a school to assault a student, or the arbitrary dismissal of conservative Fine Arts Administrator Nathan Street; our Guilford County School System from the top down is long past due for a change in leadership.
Fortunately a group called “Take Back Our Schools” has been formed. This is being led by local parent Stephanie Mitchell. She and others have been protesting outside and letting their voices be heard by those attending these secret board meetings. They are also organizing a game plan to support those that are willing to run for the five school board positions that are open in next year’s election.
As you know, school is where our children get indoctrinated, beginning in Kindergarten. It is long past time we begin the process of taking back our schools.