BOARDS: Tumult is troubling
Locally elected boards are becoming the latest example of political overreach in civil society.
Previously shunned, power hungry political wannabes, inspired by the success of charismatic public personas, have been emboldened by the unification of the vocal minority of white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, misogynists, anti-vaxxers, anti-Semites and internet trolls. Drawn together by their mistrust in government, they tout their collective self-righteous aggression toward “the other.”
“The other” they have focused on is our local education system. SD271, once considered the best district in the state, is now portrayed as a rights-infringing, para-socialist organization looking to brainwash our children into wearing masks and loving thy neighbor.
For 88 years, NIC has provided hope and opportunity to the people of our community. Now it’s reduced to a politically motivated reality show, played out monthly over Zoom.
Highly trained and caring educational professionals have fled, and some have been fired. Those remaining are now criticized in place of praise. Now portrayed as, at best, suspicious, and at worst, communist.
I look around my community of almost 30 years and wonder, what have we become? Do those who could oppose the neophyte pseudo-politicians fear the mob so much that they remain silent during public meetings?
When the call to represent our neighbors on a board or in public office, do we fear our families’ names being defamed on social media by the vocal minority? The friendly “hellos” from strangers have been replaced by fear and hatred of “the other.”