Boy, the run up to the Super Bowl sure was exciting this year, wasn’t it?
Of course, the game was, um, shall we say ... disappointing (read: a fiasco, an embarrassment). But that doesn’t change what happened in the days running up to it. The …
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
Of course, the game was, um, shall we say ... disappointing (read: a fiasco, an embarrassment). But that doesn’t change what happened in the days running up to it. The whole city was in the spirit: orange shirts, downtown buildings lit up in blue and orange, special programs on radio and television. The Broncos’ success created a sense of community around here. We were all “on the team.”
But sometimes, “team” gets out of hand. Sometimes, we stop looking at what’s actually going on around us and dig in our heels to be “with our team.” As much as I value loyalty, life is not a game; important things happen in the real world, and the consequences are a lot more serious than having to exchange strange gifts with the mayor of the “other team.”
The new Jefferson County school board has shown a penchant for sending people off to their team corners. A couple weeks ago I wrote a column that was critical of the board, though, normally, we might be on the same team. Or, at least, in the same farm system. And, boy, did I hear about it from “my” teammates. Even though my criticisms were more about politics than policy, I was still taken to task for what, in older days, would be called “heresy.” Luckily for me, it’s been mostly respectful, so, while I had lengthy conversations about the subject, it never got personal
Not so, the new school board. People from “the other team,” the ones that were so ill-behaved at the Saturday morning board meeting, immediately took to the Internet to spread innuendo and deception. “Follow the money,” is how they couch their attempts to delegitimize the board’s election. Which is, of course, silly — every prior board got elected by being well-funded, too (usually by the teachers union, whose buck normally lets them pick who sits across from them at the negotiating table).
But the attacks on this team go beyond that. A prominent member of the PTA has recently made jokes on a public account about gun violence toward this board. One of those internet sites I was talking about responded to a commenter with an ominous “Your turn is coming.” Now, do I expect to see a bunch of PTA moms marching on the school board meeting with guns a-blazin’? Of course not.
Pitchforks and torches is more the tone of this debate.
But you do know, don’t you, that if it had been the other team doing that, people would be tearing down the Administration Building by the rafters.
What all of this faux drama does, unfortunately, is take the focus far from where it should be: legitimate debates about the best, most cost-efficient way to maximize students’ potential. Yeah, the two sides have very different views on that. But, there may be common ground between the two sides, or better: a creative new way to attack the differences that lets everybody have their turn at bat. But that won’t be found in an “our team/their team” argument.
And, unfortunately, when everybody plays this as if it were just a game, then the people who really lose are the students and the taxpayers.
If only we could all take our cues from the Broncos on this one, too. Did you notice, how after the “us” vs. “them” part was over, a bunch of us’es and them’s gathered at midfield for a prayer? There are more important things than the games we play.
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.