To the editor:
RE: Townbroadcast story about “Torches & Pitchforks” group appearing at school board meeting:
This is an organized effort with the strings being pulled by multiple politically motivated groups. It’s no different than what was seen more than a decade ago when the “grass roots” Tea Party crowded into meetings being held by members of Congress to explain what the ACA (branded “Obama Care” by its detractors), would shout down anyone who didn’t agree with them and effectively stopped meetings.
Later, we found how there were organized efforts, including instruction on how overcrowding venues and raucous behavior could hasten a meeting’s termination provided by political organizations opposed to the passage of the ACA.
A few weeks ago a situation similar to what is happening at Wayland Union Schools board meetings occurred at a Grand Ledge school board meeting when the board met in person rather than virtually to formally submit and approve the newly hired superintendent’s contract. A group of 18-24 individuals interrupted the meeting wanting answers on the district’s policy on masks for the 2021-2022 school year and rolled right into demanding what the district’s policy would be regarding teaching Critical Race Theory and how the district would use the NY Times 1619 Project in its curriculum.
It was odd since neither the district’s administration; the district’s curriculum committee(s), nor the board had any plans to incorporate CRT nor 1619 Project for the 2021-22 school year.
This is all part of a run up to the 2022 Congressional and statewide elections and the protest organizers are hoping the traction remains for the 2024 national election. Some on the school board may have paid elective office in their sights may agree with them and their tactics while others looking to ride the same momentum to be elected to county and state elective positions in the future.
If you believe the people who are showing up at the school board meetings to yell and interrupt are doing so spontaneously and independently, I have permits that will allow you to build toll collection booths at the U.S.-131 Bradley exits you can buy.
— Couchman, a regular contributor to the “Comments” section in Townbroadcast.