“Very disappointed in a group of people who claim to be the majority sending out untrue and inflammatory information to parents and community members. #nocrediblyleft “
The above quote was “tweeted” by Clark County School District (CCSD) Board of Trustees President Deanna Wright following an absolute catastrophe of a meeting over which she presided on Thursday night.
It is somewhat unclear exactly which “group” she is referring to. But given her stubborn an indefensible behavior at the meeting; and given some strong comments she made at the end; it may be safe to assume Ms. Wright was referring to parent advocacy groups like Power2Parent, Nevada Family Alliance, various religious organizations, some branches of the media and perhaps, by indirect extension, even the PROGRESS itself. All of these have made efforts to inform and warn parents about the activity of the CCSD board toward shaping a comprehensive policy on gender equity.
Whomever Ms. Wright was referring to, it seems astounding that anyone could be living in a world so separate from reality. This is especially astonishing given the ridiculous comedy of errors that she and her compatriot-in-arms on this issue, Trustee Carolyn Edwards, performed on Thursday night.
First off, Wright’s tweet asserts that this “group” has claimed to be the majority. Here she accidentally hits upon an important truth. They have indeed claimed the majority because, in the observable universe, they have been the majority. Over the past three months alone, no less than seven big public meetings have been held on this subject. Every time, again and again, in all of these meetings, the overwhelming majority in attendance has been parents concerned about this policy being forced on them against their values and wishes. There has never been any question about it! When attendees of these meetings have been asked to show their position by raise of hand, it has always been at least a 3:1 ratio AGAINST the proposed policy – every time! What more indication does Ms. Wright need of where the majority voice lies?
The next statement in her tweet seems to infer that the reason for that strong majority is simply that parents have been manipulated by this “group” with “untrue and inflammatory” information about the intentions behind the policy proposal. Yet the nefarious nature of those intentions, at least as far as Wright and Edwards are concerned, were revealed clearly in Thursday’s meeting. Talk about manipulation! These two pulled out every trick from their bag in attempts to bend, contort and down-right violate open meeting law and to force an extreme agenda on this item. It was their shameful and unlawful behavior that was “inflammatory.” That Ms. Wright’s alleged “group” should actually dare to call foul doesn’t make it “untrue.”
Last week’s meeting; despite all of its chaos, dysfunction and disarray; was useful. It laid bare an unsavory truth. Both Wright and Edwards, and possibly other trustees, are willing to toss absolutely everything overboard – the incontrovertible opposition of parents, the privacy and decency rights of students, the employment of common sense and even the crystal clear dictates of the law – all in their political frenzy to feed an extreme social agenda. In that respect Wright and Edwards have shown their true colors as “activist trustees.”
Certainly, there are some situations in history where activism has been good and necessary. But such inflexible and extreme positions are simply not acceptable when dealing with the rights of schoolchildren or with issues that can affect the very fiber of families in the community. Sadly, the dialog on the CCSD gender equity issue has been driven and manipulated by the activists for far too long.
There is no doubt that sensible guidance ma be needed for school administrators and other professionals on this matter. These caring people could probably use a sensible framework for giving assistance and accommodation to troubled transgender youth. A discussion leading to a moderate, middle path may be needed.
But activists, no matter which side they are on, should not be leading that discussion. No more should extremists be allowed to use school children as political cover on their battlefield for an activist agenda. That has got to stop! It is high time for the activists to be firmly excused from the discussion table on this issue. Cooler, more moderate, heads should eventually convene in a civil discussion.
But given the irresponsible, divisive and harmful way that this issue has commenced, a cooling off period is needed first. Despite what the extremists say, there is no immediate urgency here. This item should be tabled by the board for a time, in order to allow folks on all sides to calm down. Then, at some point in the future, a time may come when people are ready to listen to each other again and reason together.
One thing is certain, activist trustees like Wright and Edwards are incapable of leading that discussion. No confidence can any longer be placed in either of them to guide this controversial issue. These two, and any other closet activist trustees who may sit on the board, need to be removed from the discussion table. They have proven that they cannot be trusted with the future of our children.
Perhaps most puzzling in Wright’s “tweet” was her hastily typed, parting hashtag reference: “#nocrediblyleft”. It is unclear precisely what this means. But if it was a reference to a complete loss of all credibility, it couldn’t be better designed to represent none other than Ms. Wright herself after her behavior in last week’s meeting.
Gold Star Award: This week we will borrow a tradition first established by Dr. Larry Moses, used occasionally in his weekly column. We will award a community Gold Star to our CCSD Trustee Chris Garvey.
Garvey deserves this distinction for standing up firmly for families, parents and children of the CCSD last week. She was one of the only trustees who kept a sensible head at Thursday night’s meeting and was able, quite frankly, to call a spade a spade.
She recognized that the board was far out of compliance with the law and she bravely pointed out the bullying techniques being employed by the activist trustees. Though she was severely criticized by opponents, Garvey did the right thing.
No matter what position one holds on this issue, Garvey deserves credit in striving for fairness and transparency in the process. Whether the extremists recognize it or not, her holding strong to that position ends up helping and protecting everyone.
Ms. Garvey provided honorable and responsible representation in Thursday’s meeting; both to her Moapa Valley constituents and to all of the people in CCSD no matter their position.
Ms. Garvey trod a rough and lonely path last week in doing what she did. She deserves kudos for it! Thank you, Ms. Garvey!