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Friday, September 24, 2021

School board members quitting to avoid threatening, hostile crowds

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School boards meetings are being turned into chaotic shouting matches dominated by angry, threatening right-wing mobs. So the members are quitting, reports the AP.

In Vail, Arizona, speakers at a recent meeting took turns blasting school board members over masks, vaccines and discussions of race in schools — even though the board had no plans to act on, or even discuss, any of those topics. “It’s my constitutional right to be as mean as I want to you guys,” one woman said.

At one meeting in Tennessee, men attending were caught on film threatening a doctor in the parking lot after he had advocated using face masks to limit the spread of Covid: “we will find you.”

MAGAs, Qanons and antivaxxers make it impossible to get anything done and make everyone afraid. So the school board members quit. Then conservatives can take over the school boards. QED.

It’s a scene that has played out at other school boards and comes as many local meetings have emerged in recent months as cultural flashpoints in a broader battle over the perceived encroachment of race-conscious education — sometimes separately lumped together under the label critical race theory.

In California and Pennsylvania, people who previously espoused QAnon have run for school board positions, sometimes melding conspiracy theories with anti-CRT sentiment. In June, the National Education Association, a prominent teachers union, warned that “conspiracy theorists and proponents of fake news are winning local elections. And their new positions give them a powerful voice in everything from local law enforcement to libraries, trash pickup to textbook purchases.”

Here’s an interesting quote from one school board member, Allison Pratt:

Board member Allison Pratt recalled thinking that if she weren’t already on the board, she wouldn’t aspire to be.

“There is starting to be an inherent distrust for school boards, that there’s some notion that we are out to indoctrinate children or to undermine parents or things like that, when we are on the same team,” said Pratt, who has been on the board six years. “We are here to help children.”

Pratt thinking that she and the people threatening her are “on the same team” rather sums up the problem, doesn’t it?





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