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Friday, December 9, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Oh, boo hoo hoo for you!

Editor’s Notebook: Oh, boo hoo hoo for you!

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Get those tiny violins out – we’re holding the world’s smallest “pity party” today!

Wednesday’s front page of The Washington Post, which I passed while getting a Big Gulp for caffeination, had an above-the-fold story down the left that, at least based on the headline, was bemoaning the fact that school-board members across the fruited plain were leaving the jobs because of those cranky parents who now show up and complain – you know, like PO’d voters are wont to do when pushed too far.

Now, so everyone is clear, nobody should be countenancing violence or threats of violence against elected officials. But as was shown by the National School Boards Association’s quick disavowal of its infamous letter to federal officials (disavowed after it had served its purpose, perhaps, but disavowed nonetheless), there have been precious few such incidents nationally. You could count them on one hand and still have a couple of digits left over.

With that caveat out of the way, frankly, it seems like school board members who are going “woke” – a phrase that quickly is wearing out its welcome even among those on the left who brought it to life – are not happy that anyone is questioning them. And when the going gets tough, the not so tough get going … right for the exits.

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And, frankly, no great loss. It was, after all, these particular school board members who started the fight, not the parents. And now that parents are awakened (the antithesis of “woke”), some in office can’t take the heat of having to defend their policies. Not exactly profiles in courage.

In Arlington County, the one School Board member whose seat was up this year – not exactly a raging wokester but certainly drinking from the cup of progressivism – bailed rather than deal with an election followed by four more thankless years in office. In Loudoun County, ground zero in the school culture wars, an incumbent from the left resigned after she couldn’t take it any more.

And one presumes in Fairfax County, where School Board elections are still two years away, incumbents will be watched ever more carefully by residents who want to know why their elected officials are focused on just about everything except attaining educational excellence for all students.

For too long, school leaders – elected and staff – have been ruling their own fiefdoms with no responsible oversight. That oversight has now arrived in the form of parents. That’s a good thing.

As for those School Board members who can’t handle it? That’s their problem, not the community’s.

VETERANS, THIS IS YOUR DAY: To end on an upbeat note, thank you to all our military veterans who are being honored this day.

One of Arlington’s sister cities (Reims, France), was the somewhat inadvertent site of the signing of Germany’s unconditional surrender during World War II. The schoolhouse where the event took place is open for visitors; I had the chance to come by during a trip years back.

The schoolhouse itself may not be momentous, but the event it played host to certainly was.

– Scott McCaffrey

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