The Douglas County School District recently settled a yearlong battle with former superintendent Corey Wise. The district agreed to pay more than $800,000 to settle the legal dispute Wise filed …
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The Douglas County School District recently settled a yearlong battle with former superintendent Corey Wise. The district agreed to pay more than $800,000 to settle the legal dispute Wise filed shortly after being fired without cause in early 2022.
I am not going to rehash how and why he was fired. I think those discussions have been extensive. However, I will talk about a statement Wise made in concluding the battle. Wise told reporters he hoped the settlement would push more school districts and boards to stop putting politics ahead of students.
I doubt if the message he is pushing can even be considered in today’s political world. I would bet I’m not alone in thinking that political views have invaded every aspect of our lives — the toxic problem is not just about our students.
I will start with students and schools. No one can say politics are not in our schools. One could argue that school boards are more about politics than ever.
Look at the Elizabeth School District. Board members resigned even though all of them had conservative political views. However, fear and rumors brought the makeup of the elected board down.
In Douglas County, several of the current board members received voter support because they promised to be against mask mandates during the COVID-19 shutdowns.
Gone are the days where school boards are looking at test scores and seeing what measures need to be taken to improve reading and math scores. Instead, it’s the trigger words that lead to battles over critical race theory, social-emotional learning and masks.
As a parent, I want an emphasis placed on reading, writing, math and good student-to-teacher ratios. All the shouting, bickering and politics has me agreeing with the parents who pull their kids out of public schools for home schooling or other options.
Wise’s point goes far beyond schools. Political bickering from our two major parties has gone to extremes that most Americans are sick of.
Political fighting prevents this country’s lawmakers from compromising to produce sensible legislation in key areas. Homelessness, affordable housing, inflation, crime — all of these need focus and attention.
However, one side will introduce legislation only to have the other vehemently hate it. Compromise may happen in some areas — but it’s rare.
Our lawmakers are threatened by party leaders from voting for bills introduced by the other side.
Sensible gun control should be discussed and debated. What is good for this country? What might stop some of these mass shootings?
However, it won’t happen because every time a tragedy takes place the left screams gun control while the right barks about the Second Amendment. What if they came together, talked and discussed true solutions?
In the end, “politics” is like slime, spreading all over, leaving residue, stains and permanent marks that will never be resolved without true effort.
Thelma Grimes is the south metro editor for Colorado Community Media.
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