Power corrupts. Petty power corrupts . . . pettily?
Some time back I told you about Diane Pharr, whose son’s school records â€” his private school records â€” were publicized by the school board . . . just out of petty vindictiveness for her wanting to learn more about the board’s budget.
Now, in Fairfax County, Virginia, public school officials similarly act out. Hunter Mill School Board member Stuart Gibson was forced by the Virginia Board of Education to publicly apologize. That board sided with a local parent defending her son, whose special education history was released by Gibson during â€” get this â€” a political campaign. The boy’s father happened to be Gibson’s opponent.
We’ve got to watch out for our rights from local officials just as much as from the big boys.
Vienna, Virginia resident Bruce Bennett was twice forcibly removed from public meetings of the Fairfax County School Board. He had tried to tape the events, you see. The officials said that wasn’t allowed.
Funny thing is, Virginia, like many states â€” and the federal government â€” requires open meetings. Mr. Bennett was entirely within his rights. But he was ousted anyway, and a school district spokesman gave a lot of hooey defending those forced ejections.
These are all developments occurring not far from where I live. I bet, if you checked into your local politics, you’d find similar trouble.
So, if you want to make a difference, get involved. There’s somebody’s rights you can defend . . . if only your own.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.