If you have not been following the news from the Mequon-Thiensville School District you have missed one of the more troubling events facing those who are elected to serve on a school board. Four members of the board are facing recall elections in November.
And all the for sake of undermining faith in our local institutions.
Wendy Francour, Erik Hollander, Akram Khan, and Chris Schultz are now facing an attempt to hijack a local school board by a group of people in the community who are just as willing to spread misinformation as they would cheese on a pizza. What has occurred over the recent weeks with this recall is another example of the lowest common denominator seeking to undermine facts and logic.
Why this matter finds concern on this Madison blog is that this recall effort epitomizes the larger threat to our democracy that has played out around the nation. Not only does the usual quackery emerge about mask mandates, vaccine shots, and a disdain for dealing with racism through the curriculum but more importantly the willful sowing of seeds to undermine our institutions. In this case, a duly elected school board is falsely branded, and the skills of the board members derided, so the faith in the electorate is undermined.
The post here is about the Mequon-Thiensville School District but the fact is this modus operandi is taking place around the nation. Hence, the larger threat to democracy.
Without actual problems so to reasonably force a recall the angry ones have stirred the larger community into believing that something untoward and outlandish has taken place by the board. It has not, of course.
But if enough false charges can be lodged from the continually resentment-filled (echoes of 2016 presidential election) then chaos can ensure, a recall can emerge, and who knows that can happen! That is the game plan of these conservatives.
So from that perspective, this recall is one that has eyes on it from all over. After all, a partisan-inspired hijacking of this type should never be allowed.
The attempt by those to take over the board by the use of politically based rhetoric runs counter to the data-driven requirements that board members need to operate under so to make sure a school is as effective in education as possible.
It should be noted that the Mequon-Thiensville School District now scores an 89.5% out of 100% rating. That is not some ranking that the board created for its own purposes, but rather the result of data collected and analyzed from the Wisconsin Department of Education.
The Mequon-Thiensville School District Significantly Exceeds Expectations on the 2018-19 School Report Cards issued in November 2019 by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
It might seem easy to think this school board matter is happening ‘over there’ and does not need to register across the state. But the fact is this tactic used by those who harbor resentments against different aspects of our larger pluralistic society are using every means they can to upend our working institutions.
All eyes need to be on this recall effort, and work to see that it fails.
And so it goes.