Submitted by John Arbeeny.
The Clover Park Education Association (CPEA-local teachers’ union) May 2021 update letter had a entry that was subtle yet profound regarding the District’s relationship with “kids”:
“5. ……….Ron (Banner-District Superintendent) was clear that the district is getting a lot of pushback on adopting this (equity) policy. The district’s philosophy is that we need to move forward with their work in order to best support our kids.”
Did you catch it? It’s the word “OUR” kids. Indeed the District’s “philosophy” includes the idea that once kids pass through the portals of education the District “owns” them. This ownership, if even for only 7 hours a day, 5 days a week excepting summer months, apparently according to their philosophy, gives the District the right to teach them what educators deem appropriate, to front load “stakeholder” groups with sycophant supporters while excluding the very parents pushing back against the implementation of critical race theory as in this case. Apparently the District thinks its “intellectual elite” know what “best supports” kids, not the kids’ parents.
Yet those kids are your kids, parents, 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Parents don’t give their children to the District; they entrust them temporarily to the District for the purpose of educating them! They are not “our” kids belonging to the District which should be calling them “your kids” to acknowledge whose kids they really are. This is a subtle but profound distinction. As “your kids,” you as parents have the right to tell the District what is appropriate in educating and supporting “your kids” not the other way around. Your conduits into the District for your direction are through the elected Board members. However that only works to the extent that Board members maintain contact with you. It’s what a “servant” (Board member) does in their serving relationship with their “masters” (parents).
How many doorbells in this election cycle have Schafer and Pearson rung? How many did they ring in the last 4 years for Pearson or 16 years for Schafer? But they have their telephone numbers posted on the District website? So what: that’s not good enough! How many doorbells have David Anderson and Jeff Brown rung in this election cycle? Collectively over 3000! Now that’s how you listen to the voters. You come to them and meet with them eye to eye and have a conversation which runs as long as the parent deems fit rather than the 3 minutes the Board allows at its meetings. David Anderson and Jeff Brown will always recognize that every student is “your kid” and that you as the parent are the drivers behind the District’s educational policy.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.