I watched the school board videos from January’s Lakota meetings several times, and I still think they are very good. But apparently, the mask police at Lakota is so insulted by Darbi Boddy’s proposal to remove mask mandates from the Lakota school culture and give parents the right to choose has caused the LEA union to begin proposing talk of impeaching the young school board member. During the last meeting, you would think it was trick or treat at Lakota as the mask lovers got up and left while Darbi was talking, obviously meaning to show her disrespect. But none of that is a surprise. This has been a problem for a long time at Lakota, where the inmates run the asylum. Actually, that’s how it is in most public schools, the unions run everything, and the school boards get sucked into believing their goal in life is to show uniformity. I would argue that the point of having five members on a board is to fight it out and debate to convince two other voters to either approve or deny a resolution. The goal of a school board is not to get along but to run the business of a local school the way our “republic” was designed. And to me, that’s what I see happening. This was Darbi’s second meeting, and she’s very passionate. There are a lot of high expectations behind those who went door to door for her to win, and she feels the need to get there and get something done instead of just being another bobblehead on a school board. She ran on getting rid of masks in the schools, as other schools have done around the state of Ohio. So short of getting more comfortable with the rules of school board business and not feeling like a sell-out for doing so, I am more than happy with how the Lakota school board is functioning for the first time in three decades.
I know people are wondering, especially the sweat bees from the teacher’s union, what my relationship is with all this. Just remember what some of those same people who are all stirred up over Darbi, what they did to me about ten years ago in the parking lot of Kroger by Lakota East. Julie Shaffer played her role in that along with Joan Powell and many other tax increase supporters back then. So now is not the time to play innocent. I’ll stay mad over that forever; I will never forget. But that isn’t the fault of the current crop of kids moving through Lakota or many of the characters who are now involved that want to make the public school work for the benefit of the area’s parents. It took Lynda O’Conner more than a decade to win me over to believing that she was a Republican. I know her to be a very good one now. But I used to be so angry at the Lakota school board that everyone on it was what I thought were scum bag liberals. It took seeing Lynda at many GOP events over the last several years that I learned that Lynda was one of the good people. We have very different ideas about the worth of public education. She really believes in Lakota and is hopeful about public schools’ role in all our lives. I personally want to blow it all up, metaphorically, as a concept given to us by the significant progressive loser, John Dewey. I had been asked to run for school board many times, but that just wouldn’t be fair. We all pay taxes to the school, right or wrong; I’m happy to not get in the way if people like Lynda who want to fix it to the best of their ability. I’m also happy to offer solutions or help people who want to be part of the solution find their way to the school board by helping connect all the right dots. But for me personally, I’m all about getting rid of the Dewey system completely.
Lynda and I usually agree to disagree on education, and when we see each other, we talk about other things besides school board business. Usually, we have a shared interest in GOP-related topics locally and nationally. If we talk about school board items for too long, I quickly blow it all up intellectually, while she desperately wants to save it. I tell that little story to those who are wondering, which are quite a few people these days. And I can also relate to the problems that new school board members like Darbi and Isaac Adi are feeling now that they are inside. It’s empowering to help be a part of the solution. The rules of the game are there to make it something of a functioning republic, and most of the time, no single person gets it their way all the way.
In Darbi’s case over this mask resolution issue, it’s her job to get two other votes on the board to support her. Many people backing her might think it’s a sell-out to work with people on the board. But they aren’t on the board. It’s tough, at best, to represent so many people and still do what you think is right. I have a policy that I do not pick up the phone, or text anybody ever, like Sheriff Jones might do, to never put my hand on the scales and threaten people to vote a certain way. I would never call up Lynda and tell her that I wouldn’t like her anymore if she didn’t vote the way I wanted her to. I believe firmly in finding people who want to do a job correctly and putting them in power to do that job. I may not always like what they do, but they should know more than me about it in a republic, which is why they are my representative there. You must trust the people you vote for to do the ultimate right thing and always keep the big picture in mind. If they don’t, then you vote them out. That’s the way the game works.
But for the teacher’s union at Lakota, they already don’t like Darbi because they can’t imagine how they might get her under control and intimidated by their presence. That is something they have been doing for years, threatening school board candidates first with the offerings of friendship but then taking away that civility if they step out of line. That was what was implied by them walking out on Darbi in the second meeting of the year while she was speaking. I can understand not liking what Darbi was saying. It may not be their politics. But if they really wanted to understand what’s going on in the district, they would know that Darbi represents people in Lakota who think worse of public education than I do. I’m a moderate on the issue, believe me, there are lots of people who hate it far worse, and to them, Lynda might as well be Satan incarnate because she doesn’t put everyone on trial and burn them at the stake. Nobody will ever make everyone happy, but what we want is for good people to do good work on behalf of the kids and taxpayers who are stuck paying many thousands of dollars a year for this ridiculous product. And there isn’t a lot of tolerance for these teachers’ union shenanigans. As Issac and Darbi get more acquainted with the conduct of these school board meetings and the agreed rules of the game, they will get better. But so far, these meetings are what I think all school boards should look like. They may be a little bumpy. But I’ve never liked a lot of hand-holding, especially when millions of dollars are at stake and many lives are impacted. And for those who are used to bullying their way into a one-sided argument, well, those days are over.