Another Smack In The Face
It’s happening Left and Right: Leaders are being seduced by lies.
How else can we explain what plays out in everyday politics? From the school board to the city council, from San Fransisco to Goldendale, Washington, elected leaders are high on their own power. Gone are the days of our leaders actually listening.
To the point, last night’s school board meeting was a repeat of the local status quo:
- They hold the meeting at a different time than normal, at 5pm instead of 7pm. For the record, the meeting was over before 5:30pm — the time that most people get off work. In effect, they minimized attendance on a whim, on the last meeting of the year, and crammed through their agenda without input.
- Since the meeting was held early, they could not review any financial reports. That means no public disclosure — However inconvenient it might be, my bet is that they are banking on this being another barrier to meaningful engagement. Anyone interested to the strings attached to the millions of dollars in state funding is welcome contact the District Manager.
- The Board unanimously approved the 35 policy documents in less than a minute, without any public discussion. Why? More on that in a moment.
- The board also waived the Principal’s report, which conveniently allowed them to closeout the year without having to discuss the fact there was a student who threatened to “shoot up the school” — which is big news in small-town USA, and a very serious issue as I addressed earlier.
Personal experience indicates that the Goldendale School District really has no inclination to listen to concerned parents, and they certainly don’t want to involve us in the discussion about what’s best for our kids. They also do not share pertinent information, like the current COVID cases, or the number of kids missing school because they are being quarantined.
Instead of substantive conversation about issues that parents are concerned with, District leadership talked about state funding, WSSDA legislative priorities, and how GREAT everything is. Today, I am going to place their behavior in a broader context and present a contrasting perspective.