Something interesting is going on in my small town. Mainly, the school board race is a big deal. Usually I pay attention because of the local Tea Party nuts who keep trying to get on, and I vote to keep them off, not because I’m excited about their opponent. The opponent typically has no background in education and is the incumbent and fine with the status quo, which I’m not. This year is different. For one thing, teachers and people with a background and education in child development and teaching are running. I’ve emailed them asking what will they do for autistic children, and their responses were exciting and included things that need to be implemented in schools. In short, for the first time I’m having to make a decision between two candidates I am excited about.
The state of education in Texas has been abysmal, and I think that Betsy DeVos was the straw that broke the camel’s back for a lot of people. I even thought of running for school board, but I’m horrible at popularity contests and instead am looking at unelected positions. It’s strange, because I was extremely vocal in protest about what little public schools offered my son, however, with that under attack, it’s sparked a resolve to do more to push back against it and improve schools.
Whether this will translate to momentum at the ballot box remains to be seen, and people are horrible at voting in these small election. But they matter!
I’m hoping that one of the people I am excited about can get on the board and make some needed changes and lead the fight against DeVos. Failing that, I’m just glad there’s some qualified competition for once.
I’ve not been able to write here since Betsy DeVos was made the Secretary of Education. While I called my senators daily asking them not to confirm her, given I am represented by Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, they did, and proudly. Now my son is at risk of having less rights than I did growing up. And it just seemed to emphasize the fruitlessness of making any noise until election time. My representatives don’t give a damn about me and ignore me.
And it just emphasized how voiceless I fell right now. Is anyone listening? Does anyone care? Writing about it just felt pointless, another frustration, another way to be ignored and told my thoughts and opinions and things that affect the quality of life for my children and myself do not matter.
Meanwhile, life does continues.
Local elections are coming up. Small beans. But it has to start locally. Currently researching school board candidates and wondering if public schools will ever be accepting places I can feel comfortable sending my son or not. Yet this is where we are. And what is happening is not right.
So I have to get back on the horse and start writing again. I may not be heard, but at least I spoke out.
While no one in my family is a scientist, I grew up in a science literate family. My parents subscribed to Scientific American and Discover and several other periodicals. Our home library was filled with books written by Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Stephen Jay Gould, and Stephen Hawking and others. We even attended university lectures with Dr. Gould and Dr. Hawking.
“He couldn’t sit still. The teacher was always on him.” the parent will explain to me when I ask questions about the etiology of a diagnosis of ADHD, Attention Deficit Disorder.
“How old was he?” I will follow up.
“How realistic is it to expect a five year old to be able to sit for long periods of time?”
The parent will usually display a range of emotions at this point, depending on their feelings about the diagnosis, “Probably not.”
First, as a lifelong, second generation feminist, I am so excited about your campaign and I look forward to voting for you as soon as early voting starts in my state on October 24! I am also excited that as my little 2-year-old daughter learns more about the world around her, most likely when she becomes aware of what the president is, she will see that it is an office held by a woman!