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Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Hopping aboard the 'trendy train' a little late

Editor’s Notebook: Hopping aboard the ‘trendy train’ a little late

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I’ve often felt particularly sorry about those poor Titanic passengers who got on at Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland.

Mostly immigrants, they were the last ones to hop on the gangplank and board the doomed liner, after it had left England, dropped over briefly to France and then made its stop in Ireland before heading to meet its fate in the Atlantic.

What does this have to do with the Arlington School Board, you ask? (That would be the natural reaction, right??)

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I sometimes feel Arlington School Board members over the years have managed to hop on educational and social-justice fads just as they were wearing out their welcome and other communities already were abandoning them, albeit perhaps quietly.

One very small case cropped up in the last few months. When you tune in the Arlington School Board meeting online or cable, each board member not only get his/her name shown when they are yapping on, but also now what is colloquially called their “preferred pronouns.”

Yep, preferred pronouns. Wasn’t that hip and happening in, say, 2017? A little late to the game, Arlington School Board.

The women have female pronouns and the men have male pronouns. Now, if at the next meeting board chair Reid Goldstein is listed as “she/her/hers” … I promise I’ll follow up with news coverage.

Such a wacky world. Nonetheless, my momma taught me to be respectful to people, so I’m am, and if you’re one who takes a view that you’re something other than strictly male or female, I may sigh quietly to myself, but in general you’re not going to get any brushback from me. Live your life, pay your taxes and don’t cut me off in traffic, and all will be fine.

It’s just the sanctimony of elected officials that sometimes gets to be, in the immortal words of Casey Kasem (he/him/his), “ponderous, man, f***ing ponderous.” Even more so because Arlington School Board members hopped on this trendy train long after it had left the station.

Oh, and unrelated but heartfelt, welcome to the board, new member Bethany Sutton! You’ve been around the school system for a while, so you know Kindly Uncle Scotty takes his shots now and then. Gratuitously crapping on elected officials is one of the few perks of my job.

In fact, years ago after she’d served two terms, board member Abby Raphael (in my estimation one of the best in recent decades), noted in conversation with me that she still remembered that she’d gotten blasted on the Sun Gazette editorial page before she’d even taken office.

“Oh, I do that with everybody. I’m like the Welcome Wagon of venom,” I reminded her.

– Scott McCaffrey

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