by Travis Mateer
Recently some upset Superintendents in Montana sent a letter to OPI’s elected leader, Elsie Arntzen, to describe their upset feelings about her allegedly deplorable leadership. Here’s how the totally NOT conflicted Daily Montanan is reporting this hissy fit:
Asserting that Superintendent Elsie Arntzen’s leadership is “creating serious deficiencies” and undermining public education as a central tenet of democracy, the top leaders of the state’s AA schools are demanding the head of the Office of Public Instruction restore the agency and start supporting schools instead of “throwing rocks at local school districts.”
While the Superintendent of my kids school wasn’t a signatory of this letter, I DID speak with Heather Schmidt on the phone after she dragged Target Range into the controversy over a dumb comment made in jest by Quentin Rhoades. Here’s the reporting on how SERIOUS Heather took this THREAT:
Target Range School District Superintendent Dr. Heather Davis Schmidt sent an email to staff Wednesday regarding an incident at a community meeting Monday.
According to Schmidt, during the public meeting, an attorney who has filed a lawsuit against several local schools regarding their universal mask mandate made a threat to superintendents, saying “shoot ‘em.”
“In the school environment we take all threats seriously, and I take this one seriously,” Schmidt said. “I am in the process of making a formal complaint with law enforcement and the Missoula County Attorney’s Office.”
Now, with this framing in mind, you might be thinking I’m about to get SUPER CRITICAL about how Heather Schmidt is leading my kids’ school, but since the dreaded OMICRON variant was discovered, I have finally had a change of heart about the THREAT we face, and now I think Heather Schmidt is doing FANTASTIC!!!
Let me provide an example.
I attended a band concert–fully masked of course now that OMICRON was stalking me–and all the anxiety I felt about these little OMI-spreaders giving me the deaths evaporated when I saw that not only were the kids wearing masks, SO WERE THEIR INSTRUMENTS!
After my relief and astonishment wore off, I started wondering…who had the lucrative idea to sell the school district instrument-masks? Or was this some kind of DIY ingenuity from the PTA or something?
Since I was wearing my “parent hat”, I resisted the urge to find someone to field my inquiry (on a side-note, this “wearing hats” idiom is an actual thing. It’s kind of like how I’ve had to shift from aggrieved documentary film maker with The Roxy to artist/citizen journalist).
What I’m trying to say is Elsie Arntzen would benefit from embracing all the amazing opportunities fear and political opportunism can create, especially if a corporation and/or public sector union has your back.
Now, what other holes could benefit from a little fabric-armor against OMICRON?
Have a nice weekend!