Religious and Family Freedom and the Wake County School Board

Friday, November 13, 2009

It is done

The voters have spoken and all school board seats up for re-election were unanimously replaced by candidates supported by community schools organizations.

I have anxiously watched this race, even as I do it from afar. My family has moved out of the area as my two daughters are now both graduated from high school. The fight was no longer for me, it was for all my good friends in the area with children in the school system who had them sent to different, and in some cases, far away schools.

My friends, as do I, believe in supporting your children at school, volunteering, and being involved. We all believe that families mean something, and siblings of similar ages shouldn't be separated into different schools, and that bus schedules and limited access to transportation shouldn't force parents to miss work or children to miss early morning scripture study classes.

I know that there will be many arguments. There is a lot of existing power structure around the insanity which has infested the school system, which will have to be torn down to make the schools more accountable and more accommodating to the parents and community.

The head of the teacher "union" (North Carolina doesn't allow unions, but the NCAE is a union in everything but name) recently criticized the incoming school board members saying, "They don't care about children and it [is] now clear that they don't care about teachers." The NAACP has threatened to sue the school district, just for allowing students to attend the schools closest their homes instead of busing them across the county.

There are many problems that will need to be worked out. I don't claim to have all the answers. And since I no longer live in Wake County, I'll let others work the problems out, but I ask you these questions:

1. Wouldn't it make sense to allow parents to choose where to send their children to school instead of having one assigned to them by a central planning committee?

2. As far as the poor and minorities being hurt by the new neighborhood school policies- Is supporting a combination of charter, private, and public schools so far out of question for taxpayer dollars through vouchers? Who's really being hurt by this reluctance, those with the money to move near a high-performing school or those who don't?

3. Shouldn't it be a goal of the school system to support moral values, the strength of family and religious ties, and encourage the participation of parents at their children's school, rather than make it all but impossible to participate? The social sickness of society is a result of these ties being weakened. Out of wedlock pregnancies, child abuse, and crime are all associated with the disintegration of family and religious values.

4. What should be more important to the school system- political organizations' leadership and lobbyists opinions, or the opinions of the families and community employers that the schools serve? Most parents in Wake County have overwhelmingly favored neighborhood schools and school choice.

It has been a long hard journey. Frankly, I'm glad it's over for my family. And I thank the Lord above that Wake County parents have finally begun to understand that the school board works for them, not the other way around.

May we see this awakening across the fruited plain and from sea to shining sea.