School boards, parents must partner for kids
I believe having engaged parents in our schools is critical for student success. One of the things I enjoy most about my service as a school board member is interacting with our parents: hearing the things we are doing well and their thoughts about how we can improve. Indeed, when we all work together, the educational experience is better for all.
It is out of this collaboration that I was so disturbed to read the letter sent last month by the National School Board Association to President Joe Biden. The association is asking for the full weight of the federal government to protect local school boards from the very parents we are elected to represent. These parents, who in my experience are not behaving unlawfully, are engaged in their children's learning and welfare, advocating on their behalf. To be considered as engaging in “domestic terrorism and hate crimes” is outrageous and must be challenged.
The Indiana School Boards Association has spoken out, saying “the request for federal law enforcement response was an overreach and an intervention ISBA does not support. ISBA believes in local control, and we wish to work with parents and community members to do what is best for children. We believe a retraction of the letter by NSBA is warranted.”
I welcome the ISBA's response, but I believe we need to go further. We need to send a message that we stand by our parents by having our local school board speak out against this overreach. I will ask for a resolution from our school board and would call on others in our region to join us.
It is only by us taking a stand together that we can move forward in partnership and ensure that our children have the best educational experience possible and that our parents are the fully informed partners we need them to be.
Self-reflection vital to Rittenhouse redemption
On Nov. 19, a trial ended as verdicts were rendered. Twelve men and women carried out their civic duty.
Yet, in the wake of that, for the sake of citizens of Kenosha and indeed the nation, it is reasonable to wonder whether there has been a miscarriage of justice as the jury, though following the edicts of court instruction under Wisconsin law, has by its pronouncements sent a powerful, misguided message.
The Second Amendment was praised throughout the trial as was the principle of self-defense, and praise could be heard rising from citizens outside the courtroom following the announcement of the verdicts.
Justice, however, was not promoted; vigilantism received encouragement. Accountability was not attained, and responsibility at this time can only be hoped for as, to be charitable, a terribly immature 18-year-old has reached the age of adulthood.
In effect, given a second chance at creating a meaningful life, in the wake of denying two men the right to continue theirs, Kyle Rittenhouse owes both himself and greater society the acceptance and need to learn responsibility and understanding of accountability.
Going forward from the tensions of the trial, and in the wake of 2020's tragic events, this will be the closest society can come to finding some form of justice. Let us hope and pray that it comes about.