Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Save Us from Ourselves

 

School districts in Texas are independent of other political entities. While the state board of education sets standards, districts are completely free of any authority from local political entities. Bravo, right? Local control, closer to the people, is certainly an ideal to which we should all aspire. The COVID pandemic has revealed just how many local leaders really aspire to authority without responsibility.

In our (Kendall) county, the local bigger school district (Boerne ISD) spills over into adjacent Bexar County (San Antonio). The Bexar County judge (elected administrator) and San Antonio mayor decided to give their county health department complete authority over closures and other COVID rules. Step one in abdication of authority. Their health department decided to order schools to delay in-person opening. Boerne ISD has two schools within Bexar County and decided to open anyway as planned. The county judge whined to the state, and Governor Abbott and the attorney general declared that health departments have no authority over school closures. So now they can’t even make Bexar County schools stay closed, thereby putting authority back in the hands of local school boards. Great, right? But guess what really is happening.

“It really is the responsibility of and the necessity of the locally elected school boards that are responsive to the teachers, to the parents, to the students, to the public, to make the decision that is best for the school,” Abbott said during a news briefing at a warehouse in San Antonio used for shipping personal protection equipment to school districts across Texas to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

Abbott said the school boards can take input from local public health officials, but if there is a disagreement, “the local school district will prevail.”

Of course:

His remarks met with a sharp rebuke from the Texas State Teachers Association, which represents 60,000 teachers and support staff.

The governor needs to stop passing the buck to local school boards on when to reopen and should mandate no district start in-person instruction before Sept. 8 and then only when it is safe to do so,” said the group’s president, Ovidia Molina, in a statement.

So please, save us from our own locally elected leaders. If the COVID cloud has a silver lining, it’s in showing how many Americans actually hate freedom.

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  1. Rodin Member

    “How many Americans hate freedom” is a silver lining? I guess its better to know than guess. (sigh)

    • #1
    • August 5, 2020, at 7:11 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSulJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Tex929rr: So please, save us from our own locally elected leaders. If the COVID cloud has a silver lining, it’s in showing how many Americans actually hate freedom.

    I’m not sure I would say it shows that people hate freedom, but it does show that they are in a paralysis of terror, refusing to give that up.

    • #2
    • August 5, 2020, at 7:39 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. Chuck Thatcher

    Somebody said, and I kind of appropriated it, “Give us the facts and let us decide for ourselves.” Only problem is, except for those of us who read what people like Rodin and Jerry Giordano and many others here on Ricochet write, most of those members of the school board are just ignorant of the facts.

    So I don’t know, no simple answers.

    • #3
    • August 5, 2020, at 7:59 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Full Size Tabby Member

    But since it’s a teachers’ union complaining, I think it’s more about who will support the union’s goal of getting paid while not doing work (note that’s the union goal, not the goal of most teachers). If the county and/or governor had ordered schools to open and a school district resisted, the union would be siding with the school district. 

    I think the bigger reveal of the current school debate is making it open how low a priority students are in the priorities of teachers’ unions. Union priorities and demands have little to nothing to do with student well being and are all about comfort and ease for some teachers (or political goals having nothing at all to do with schools). Teachers who actually want to teach students are having to fight against the unions. 

    • #4
    • August 5, 2020, at 8:40 AM PDT
    • Like
  5. Rodin Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    But since it’s a teachers’ union complaining, I think it’s more about who will support the union’s goal of getting paid

    “I see you’ve got a nice little school here. It would be sad if something bad were to happen to it.”

    • #5
    • August 5, 2020, at 8:55 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Freeven Member
    FreevenJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    People love freedom in the abstract. But most are quite eager to take it away from others to get their way on specific issues. And most are also quite willing to surrender their own freedom on the mere promise of “safety,” the shallow illusion of “justice,” or even a bit of “free candy.” What most people seek is not freedom, but rather expediency.

    • #6
    • August 5, 2020, at 9:07 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  7. Freeven Member
    FreevenJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    “When school children start paying union dues, that ‘s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”

    ~ Albert Shanker — President of the United Federation of Teachers, 1964-1985

    • #7
    • August 5, 2020, at 9:11 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr

    Rodin (View Comment):

    “How many Americans hate freedom” is a silver lining? I guess its better to know than guess. (sigh)

    Lefties are always publicly denying their beliefs, but sometimes the mask comes off (COVID pun intended) and they show themselves.

    • #8
    • August 5, 2020, at 2:14 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Steve C. Member

    Most Texas teachers work on annual renewable contracts. The influence of the TSTA is very limited.

    • #9
    • August 5, 2020, at 2:28 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Jules PA Member

    We had a quite divided community on whether to open or go virtual, but virtual won the vote 7-2, even though there were at least 2-3 more who did want to vote to open.

    Part of this closure hysteria seems rooted in the hyper-litigious society we live in. 

    In the final community Zoom meeting regarding the opening of schools, a resident essentially assigned the blame for any SARSCoV2 death in a student or teacher to the Superintendent. 

    You could practically smell the lawsuits brewing through the computer screen. 

    Because who wants to be the Superintendent or Board Member to be excoriated head-on-a-pike by the 20-20 hindsight of the community?

    It doesn’t matter if the litigant wins these kinds of lawsuits. Just like in cancel culture, much of the pursuit is the joy in punishing the defendant with the process. 

     

     

    • #10
    • August 5, 2020, at 7:21 PM PDT
    • 1 like