Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Douche Bags Flunked Civics

Can Anyone Save This School?

Via Orient Lodge

Democracy is Scary

Submitted by Aldon Hynes on Wed, 08/29/2007 - 07:47.

Last week, I wrote about the Avery Doninger case, that Democracy is Disruptive. It is also scary. What happens if people vote for someone you don’t want in office?

This isn’t a new thought. The history of our democracy is full of people concerned that democracy is mob rule or the dictatorship of the majority. Yet our national experiment with democracy has been, by and large, a great success. With the exception of the Civil War and social unrest at various times, our democracy has functioned pretty well.

Thomas Jefferson suggested that a key to addressing the concerns about mob rule and the dictatorship of the majority is to make sure that the voters are well educated. This is ties back to why the Avery Doninger case, taking place in our public schools, is so important.

The way the school administrations handle elections is an important example to students. How much do we trust democracy, and how much are we afraid of it. Beyond the issues of freedom of speech, I believe this is where the Lewis Mills administration particularly failed.

If you don’t like the results of an election, such as Avery winning a plurality of the votes, you don’t override the results. I’ve been told that part of the principal’s justification for her actions was citing an example of hypothetical candidate that would not have been allowed to run.

The school had been suffering a spate of vandalism; students purposefully clogging the toilets. The Principal said she wouldn’t allow such a student to run. In saying that, she exhibited a lack of faith in democracy and a lack of faith in her students. If she believed in democracy, she would encourage such a candidate to run. She would make sure that the information came out in debates ahead of the vote. My guess is that the students would not vote for such a candidate. However, if such a candidate were to be elected, it would be much better for them to be spending their time as part of the student government instead of vandalizing the school.

Not only is democracy scary, but it can also be expensive and time consuming. Both sides have spent a lot on legal fees. They have spent a lot of time on this. Other families are not as fortunate to have the resources to pursue this. Other school districts are not as fortunate to have the amount of funding to pay the high salaries of their administration, pay for such spectacular renovations of their auditorium, let alone spend the money on the litigation that is being spent.

This has been a scary and expensive lesson for everyone. Let us hope that the lessons get properly built into the curriculum so that everyone can come away with a greater appreciation of the democracy that makes our country stronger.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can anyone find out if the Doningers will have to pay the court costs incurred by Region 10 since the judge ruled in favor of the school district? If not now, should they lose on appeal, would the Doningers have to pay? Am not a lawyer, but would like to know.