The Board of Education in Westport, CT has approved, in a close vote along political party lines (4-3), the addition of two students from Staples High School as student representatives.
The controversial move came after the republicans and several participants from the public questioned the legality of bringing to the Board a new class of non-voting members with speaking and participatory rights not given to parents or other members of the public.
The issue was brought for discussion at the end of a very long Board meeting, which lasted almost five hours. In a tyrannical fashion, Chairman Lee Goldstein forced a vote ignoring a reasonable request by several members to postpone and make sure that the proposed changes to the Board bylaws did not violate the Town’s Charter.
Many parents are outraged, not only by the way in which the Board has approved the Bylaw changes, but for the lack of analysis and the irrationality of the proposal. After attending several meetings, I have only been able to identify three ‘arguments’ openly presented by the Chairmen and the Superintendent of Schools, Thomas Scarice. First, that the strategic plan calls for more student involvement and their opinions should be taking into consideration by the Board members. Second, that it is important to give students an opportunity to develop their leadership skills and gain experience in government. And third, that Mr. Scarice tried this approach before, in a previous job, and Ms. Goldstein really wants to replicate his experience.
Clearly, these ‘arguments’ are not enough to justify changes to the composition of the Board in violation of the Westport Town Charter. If you want students to participate more, let them express their opinions, as any other resident of the Town, by using the time allocated for public comments during the meetings. If you are concerned about more interaction with the students, have the members of the Board visit the schools and have open discussions with them. If you want the students to develop leadership skills, encourage participation in athletics or in student clubs; it is not the mission of the Board of Education to be a training ground for aspiring politicians.
So, why are Ms. Goldstein and Mr. Scarice unequivocally committed to ‘pack’ the Board with two students who, they claim, are not really ‘representatives’ of the student body, are not really board members because they cannot vote, and do not represent any political party because they are minors? Why do they want to hand pick them and have their appointment approved by the Board by a simple majority vote, while requiring a super majority to remove them?
What are the true reasons behind their unusual actions?
This looks like a new step by the WOKE cult to exercise total control over the Town of Westport. The model has been tested already and is in full display at TEAM Westport, where an advisory committee of fourteen members, on issues of multiculturalism, has been taken by a ‘Kendi anti-racist mafia’. It is now ‘packed’ with non-voting members, hand picked by the head of the group himself, and any attempt of dissent by a voting member is aggressively quashed.
Every month, Ms. Goldstein and Mr. Scarice sit at the TEAM meeting table to report on the progress they are making in the Westport Public School District. Now that they have established the precedent of having non-voting members on the Board of Education, they will be able to return the favor and invite Harold Bailey, chairman of TEAM, to be an active participant in reshaping the education of our children to teach them to hate America.