by Travis Mateer
Before I get to the provoking and wave-ducking maneuvers being deployed against parents like me, I’d like to reference an anecdotal text my wife got this weekend from a friend. This friend, who will remain anonymous, is DONE with current school policy. The reason this text gives my wife and I hope is because this friend exhibited ALL the symptoms of being a TRUE BELIEVER.
If THIS mom is done, no amount of desperate provocation from a tool like Ken Toole is going to work. And boy is this guy trying hard. From the link (emphasis mine):
You don’t have to be a parent to care about your local school. But recently there are groups popping up around Montana who refer to themselves as the “parental rights movement,” as though they have more of a stake in public education than those who don’t have kids in the school system.
I appreciate Ken Toole’s candor here, especially the scare quotes. It’s a reminder to people out there getting political for the first time that the narrative controllers have to label you with something reductive before they can start smearing you. Like this:
The “parental rights movement” is a relatively small group of people with an axe to grind and clearly don’t represent most parents. Recently they have been attacking masks, vaccines and how we teach history. In their view, they should be able to mandate school policies, because they know what is best for “their kids.”
When I read this I DO experience an emotional stirring of anger, and that’s the point. Truckers are playing fucking hockey and singing the Canadian national anthem up north, and parents in Missoula are peacefully mobilizing to figure out what they can do to unmask their kids. No one is acting like the domestic terrorists the authoritarians need in order to justify the continued authoritarian behavior of the state and their eager, well-intentioned executors of OFFICIAL policy.
While parents and truckers refuse to be terrorists, cowards ARE in fact acting like cowards. Cue Rob Watson, who just announced his retirement for greener administrative pastures.
Missoula County Public Schools Superintendent Rob Watson will leave the district at the end of the school year, he wrote in an email to staff on Friday.
The MCPS Board of Trustees will discuss plans to find a new superintendent during a Feb. 22 meeting.
“It is with mixed emotions that I share this decision with you today,” Watson wrote. “My time with MCPS, including my former time as a principal, has been some of the most rewarding of my 29 years in public education. I will leave with many happy memories and proud to have served with each of you.”
Watson said he will be leaving his position on June 30, 2022 to take the role as the executive director of School Administrators of Montana (SAM), an organization that advocates for public education. Watson will begin in his new role on July 1.
I went to the SAM website and, man, are there a bunch of acronyms. There are also a bunch of links I clicked on but, alas, it is membership-restricted, and I am not a member, which is too bad because I’m sure this guy has LOTS of amazing things to say about schooling the kiddos.
The move by Rob Watson to retire is curious and the big question now is who will replace him and by what process will that person be selected?
I’ll be watching this one as close as I can. Stay tuned.