At the Christina School District Board of Education meeting last night, the board voted on the very controversial safety zone policy. This policy would not allow ICE officials to just enter a school to question or detain a student who is here illegally. They would first have to go through the Superintendent of the district. But board member Harrie Ellen Minnehan introduced a whopper of an amendment to the policy!
It seemed like a very Sokola moment. Her amendment was to have the Delaware Secretary of Education sign off on the safety zone policy in the event it should pass last night. Since when does ANY school district need the Secretary of Education to sign off on local policy? Yes, let’s completely evaporate local control and cede all district policy to the state! Thank God the amendment failed. The two supporters of the amendment were the same two board members that voted no on the policy: Minnehan and George Evans.
Evans and Minnehan’s line of thought was that the buildings are owned by the state. Okay. And do the schools not rent them out essentially? It would be like a landlord telling a convenience store they can’t sell soda or candy. Not to mention the fact that I don’t think a local school board can force the head of a Delaware state agency to do anything without state legislative changes. I have no doubt that when Dr. Susan Bunting sees this she is going to have a chuckle. For years, this district has desperately tried to hold onto local control and Minnehan was ready to give it away over a policy she didn’t seem to like.
Meanwhile, Republicans, Democrats, Greens, and Libertarians alike are battling it out over the approved policy over on my Facebook page. As I told one commenter, it’s like throwing a donut across a room, yelling “Food Fight!” and just standing back as chaos reigns. I love Delaware!
Last month, the Christina School District Board of Education failed to pass a resolution regarding safe harbor for students in the district who could be targeted by ICE officials. Never one to quit, board member John Young wrote a policy for the board to look at for their next meeting. I like this policy. It is very thorough and states explicitly what can and should happen. I would be shocked if the board didn’t pass this one. I hope the discussion has the same harmony the above picture of the board has!
Christina School District Board of Education member John Young is going head to toe with President Donald Trump in what could be a first for Delaware! In response to what many are viewing as President Trump’s very heavy-handed immigration tactics initiated shortly after his inauguration, Young crafted a brilliant resolution declaring the district a safe zone for any student within its property.
The resolution would make it so any United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement official would have to get permission from the district Superintendent and coördinate any activities before entering any of the buildings of the district. When asked what prompted the decision for the resolution, Young stated the following:
This resolution is in response to current political environment which was spurred on by a presidential immigration ban but it was not designed to be a reaction to it but an act to protect our students and our schools as the learning environments that they were and are designed to be. Basically students should not fear coming to school for any reason and no student should be subjected to being a witness to a federal immigration and customs enforcement action.
There should be no reason any logical board member would not say yes to this resolution. All students deserve to have schools be a safe haven! If approved, this would be the first Delaware school district to institute this type of resolution. The Christina Board of Education will vote on the resolution at their board meeting this evening. The meeting will take place at Gauger-Cobbs Middle School and will begin at 7pm.
*Updated, 9:45pm: The resolution failed to pass with a vote of 3 yes and 4 no.
Acting US Secretary of Education John King visited Delaware yesterday. Governor Jack Markell called a State of Emergency at 5pm yesterday. My question: Did King leave Delaware? Is he hanging out with Jack planning the next wave or corporate education reform? Common Core 2.0?
Meanwhile, employees all over the state are screaming cause Markell didn’t even issue a Level 2 for the Blizzard of 2016 until just now. In Sussex County, fears of flooding when the high tide came in at 7am this morning caused a lot of anxiety. Freezing rain has turned the roadways into a slushy mess down there. Central Kent County, where I live, got pounded last night. The snow is like a thick paste here. Police are checking drivers for work IDs up in New Castle County. And Jack? Where is Jack? He said there would be an update in an hour over on his Facebook page and that just now came in, after several people already attempted to go to work but couldn’t get out of their driveways or developments and came back home if they didn’t get stuck.
This is yet another example of Governor Markell looking out for business interests over the concerns of the everyday citizens in the state he governs. These are the types of storms where everyone else is staying “STAY OFF THE ROADS”. People die in storms like this. Does anyone really think they are going to get a haircut today? Or go grocery shopping? There’s probably nothing left on the shelves! Meanwhile, all the surrounding states called their states of emergency before the storm actually hit. Why does it take people blasting him all over the place before he actually does something? During a hurricane some years back, he pulled the same thing.
I think Jack is looking at this wrong. If kids are home, with their parents who shouldn’t be working today, that’s more time to work on closing those gaps. Parents can help their kids to become college and career ready all weekend long! With the right amount of rigor and grit, we will get those kids acing the best test Delaware ever made in no time!