Just Asking: Questions elicited by the story “Group Backs Board of Education” According to their mission statement, Truth in Education (TIE) promotes transparency and accountability in education and the power of parent-community coalitions to achieve those objectives. Why would any educator, school board member, or member of the Forward Coalition (FC) or the School Action Committee (SAC) be opposed to those objectives or anyone supporting them?
Is the statement by FC and SAC that they validate “the right of every child to feel safe, valued, and welcomed in the Bryan County School District regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and gender expression” incompatible with the search for transparency and accountability? Does this statement by FC and SAC infer that TIE does not support these same rights and inclusivity?
How is the mission of FC “to uplift, mobilize, and connect the Black, Indigenous, People of Color and marginalized communities across the rural and suburban landscape of Bryan County” thwarted by the call for transparency and accountability?
The SAC states that they will work with the local Board of Education to ensure that learning opportunities are not censored but that diversity, equity, and inclusion are promoted. Equity promotes equality of outcomes, not equality of opportunity. Equity is counterintuitive to diversity and inclusion. Equality of opportunity actually reflects the ideals of diversity and inclusion.
The FC and SAC state that curriculum decisions should not be based on innuendo or personal agenda, yet they state that political participation and advocacy are essential to create the community they desire. Is it the role of the school to engage in social activism through clubs/ organizations, the school curriculum, and methods of delivery? Is it the role of the school to prepare all students to be productive and successful members of society by promoting academic excellence? Should schools promote how to think instead of what to think? What are Bryan County Schools promoting? Calls for transparency and accountability provide a pathway for all the groups involved. What is the role of the school? Is it to educate or indoctrinate? What are the educational expectations and responsibilities of parents? Parents, should you question your children about the curriculum that is taught and how it is presented? Should parents question teachers, administrators, board employees, and board members when they have questions about the education their children are receiving?
Parental involvement in the educational process can strengthen the parent- teacher relationship and build on student success. Are the superintendent and school board accountable to parents? Should school board meetings encourage meaningful parent involvement? Thoughtful analysis by anyone should make it clear that transparency and accountability are key to an inclusive educational accounting for all stakeholders.
Martha Coffield, Richmond Hill