My thoughts turned immediately to a story I followed for a time up yonder in Amarillo when I heard about the Granbury school trustee getting censured by her colleagues for sneaking around a high school library.
There was a certain parallel that shouldn’t be repeated.
The Granbury ISD board censured trustee Karen Lowery for pestering school library officials over the books they were allowing to be read by students. Lowery went through the high school library in the dark, using a smart-phone flashlight to look at book titles she might find objectionable. She also lied about her involvement.
The school board was right to censure her, even though Lowery insists she didn’t do anything wrong. Well, actually, she did merely by injecting herself into the administration of policy.
This issue reminded me of the time — in 2019 — when an Amarillo ISD trustee, Renee McCown, pestered an Amarillo High School volleyball coach, Kori Clements, over the lack of playing time McCown’s daughter was getting under the coach’s leadership.
Clements, who served for just a year as coach in what she had described as her dream job, resigned and then stated in her letter to the school board that the trustee had applied undue — and improper — pressure on her to give her daughter more playing time.
Well, the trustee ended up resigning, but the school board should have shown the mettle demonstrated by the Granbury board by censuring McCown. Instead, the Amarillo ISD board remained stone-cold silent.
There is a lesson to be learned here. It is that elected public officials have no business getting involved in the administration of policy. Period. Full fu**ing stop!
This book-banning business that has infested school districts throughout Texas and the nation has given rise to the potential for the meddling we witnessed in Granbury. A censure delivered by a governing body has no actual effect on anything, other than to state for the record that the offending official has been sanctioned.
Lowery only made matters worse in Granbury by lying to authorities and sneaking into the library under false pretenses. The deal is, though, that she was motivated to act inappropriately because of the book-ban movement that has lit fires in school communities everywhere.
Let us be cognizant of politicians’ roles here. They do not include meddling in the work of the employees they hire.