by Barton Cockey M.D.
The FBI will investigate threats and intimidation against school board members, administrators, teachers, and staff, United States Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Oct. 4. In so doing, Garland claimed federal jurisdiction over local law enforcement, in clear violation of the U.S. Constitution.
This power grab by the AG supposedly came as a response to a letter from the National School Boards Association (NSBA), a leftist advocacy group with vast influence over the nation’s school boards. To gain some insight into how this ukase or edict is playing out, I attended a school board meeting in the charming village of Greenwich (“It’s Greeen-wich, not Gren-itch”) in northern New York state.
About 35 parents and taxpayers showed up at the auditorium. A sign on the door announced that masks were required, and a cheerful, elderly security guard offered disposables to those who entered uncovered. The board was masked to the eyeballs, but most of the attendees allowed their face diapers to slip down. The citizens who asked questions of the board were intense and direct but civil. As I expected, the issues of greatest concern were the mandatory masking of school children, tests and quarantines, Critical Race Theory (CRT), and the budget.
“What scientific evidence do you have for masking our children?” one lady asked. No one on the board had any evidence, but they had directives from the state. They were just following orders.
This response provoked pointed comments from the audience about the Nuremberg defense and the similarity of the board’s behavior to that of low-level functionaries in Nazi Germany. One lady flashed a Roman salute. The board received these remarks in stony silence. If their faces had any expression, their masks concealed it.
“How many students have tested positive for COVID?” Um, er, school hasn’t been in session very long, was the reply. “You don’t know how many tested positive?” No.
“How are the doctrines of equity, diversity, and inclusiveness being taught in Greenwich Central School District?” The questioner did not use the term CRT, but his meaning was clear. The board’s president, James Nolan, professed complete ignorance of the matter but assured the audience that the school was following guidelines established by the state.
“What about all this extra money that you’ve received from the state and federal governments? Are there strings attached?” another attendee demanded. After some squirming, the school’s business manager admitted that, yes, the grants come with requirements.
“So, you are essentially telling us that this board is impotent? That you have no ability to make decisions on your own?” The board had no answer for this question; they had already answered it.
Taxpayers are having similar experiences all across the country. They are suddenly discovering that the situation is far more desperate than they imagined.
We have long believed that no matter how crazy the central government gets, civic involvement at the local level can put things right, at least within our own little sphere. We imagined that even if we were asleep at the switch, once we woke up and took hold of the controls, everything would be all right. But now we have learned that the switch doesn’t work. We and our elected officials are locked out—or locked in!
Now we know why the Attorney General has activated the secret police.
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Dr. Cockey is a retired diagnostic radiologist. His 2018 novel The Sacred Fury anticipates some of today’s madness. The dystopian tale, involving the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe, is recommended as a light and pleasant distraction from our even more dystopian present.
Photo “Merrick Garland and Chuck Shumer” by Senate Democrats. CC BY 2.0.