It must be nice to be able to have opinions that are politically convenient to whatever problematic, self-serving agenda you want to promote.
Take local control of school districts, for example.
State School Superintendent Richard Woods doesn’t think local control is very important, until it’s a convenient platform to shield his transphobic views.
Underfund our schools, setting them up to fail, then privatize and corporatize as many of them as you can justify? Pfft, local control — the idea that transparency and accountability should rest with the local residents — is meaningless.
Local control is a smoke screen for leadership’s conservative, transphobic beliefs.
Woods has been astoundingly a-ok with Governor Nathan Deal’s school takeover plan. The plan, which would effectively undermine Woods’ Dept. of Education and allow Deal to take over schools without input from local officials, educators or parents, has all but received his support. There’s been no outcry about the privatization of schools, the loss of state funds or the lack of accountability.
Wherever is politically convenient.
Woods, a handpicked Deal leader, has made this fairly unconcerned statement about the plan to undermine his leadership and his entire Department:
“Whether or not a constitutional amendment passes establishing an Opportunity School District, our mission will not change. We will offer every possible resource and support to schools, all in service of what’s most important: the classroom and the students served there.’
Really, nothing will change? No outcry? No demands that Georgia’s schools be fully funded? Or that the state back off and make sure local schools stay accountable to local people?
Woods does support local control, however, when it comes to opposing new federal guidelines designed to foster supportive environments for transgender students. He recently sent this letter to school districts across the state:
“The doctrine of ‘local control’ is deeply rooted in our constitution and laws here in Georgia, and I am confident that you, as the superintendent of your district, along with your board of education and with counsel and support from your local board attorney, will continue to appropriately address concerns surrounding this complex and sensitive matter.”
It’s a gross misrepresentation of the real, transphobic motivation behind their resistance. Resistance that has turned into a lawsuit, nonetheless. Georgia just joined 10 other states in suing the federal government over the new guidelines. God forbid transgender students be ensured a modicum of respect.
Transgender youth are already at increased risk for bullying and suicide. Transgender and other queer youth are already particularly vulnerable to the school-to-prison pipeline. So, check your own bathroom hang-ups at the door, transgender students have enough to worry about.