Addressing the December school board meeting

Think for Yourself


There was a constant joke while I was in the military that the term “military intelligence” was an oxymoron. An oxymoron is two things you wouldn’t naturally put together or a contradiction in terms. Some individuals may believe I am just an old-fashioned moron, and maybe I am, but I am also a kind of oxymoron. I am a walking, talking, opinion-writing contradiction. This article perfectly illustrates how closely I resemble the oxymoron of “military intelligence.”

Let me demonstrate with this example. I support excellent public education, but I also support education vouchers. Some “experts” say vouchers will detract from or destroy public education. I believe vouchers will give parents the power of choice. The power of choice usually encourages provider competition, resulting in better consumer results. I think our local public schools are excellent. Many parents would still choose White County Public Schools if they had vouchers, but, if some other option was a better fit for their family, they should have a right to choose. I love our public schools, but, ultimately, I want the best for my child. I believe competition makes the competitors better, and competing with other options might challenge an excellent school system to perform even better.

I have publicly disagreed with Director of Schools Dronebarger over various subjects, from school policies during COVID to snow days. I have had four children and one special-needs grandchild in White County Schools. My grandson’s therapist is no longer allowed to work with him at school because of the personal behavior of another employee from that company. I will not argue the merits of banning that specific individual from working in the schools, but the decision to ban the entire company has hurt my grandson.

I may not always agree with Director Dronebarger, but I don’t believe he is evil or incompetent. I may (and should) question his decisions sometimes, but I don’t question his heart or character. I don’t believe he is perfect or beyond reproach, but I respect and admire what he has done for the children and schools of White County.

Now, let me address another oxymoron: passive-aggressive. When you state you believe someone is probably a good person and then accuse them of nepotism, cover-ups, and various other dastardly acts, you prove that you are either a liar or someone with a very odd definition of a good person. When you hold an individual guilty of wrongdoing because they couldn’t foresee that someone would do something most people find unimaginable, perhaps your expectations are a bit high for mere mortals. Saying you hope your fellow board members will leave the meeting with a “pure heart and pure conscience” implies you assume they won’t.

Every board member was elected by the public or appointed by county commissioners who were elected by the public. Arguing that the board’s vote to renew the Director’s contract would rob the public of their voice rings hollow, especially since the members will not change before this vote has to be taken in April. I understand some individuals would like to see the Director replaced. I disagree, but at least that is an honest and legitimate argument. Things may come to light, proving cause for the board to remove the Director, and a future board will still be able to terminate this contract in several different ways. I respect individuals trying to make a legitimate argument, even if I disagree. It is difficult to respect individuals offering excuses to postpone a vote because they fear the outcome.

The world and people are full of contradictions. I am much closer to the rule than the exception. It is also a contradiction that I am proud of how mature the student board members appeared while simultaneously being embarrassed by how immature some adult members seemed. Whether I am a moron, oxy or otherwise, these are my thoughts. Think for yourself.   


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here