Recall Option Needed

The Southerner

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By Sam Weinstock

Members of our school board have revealed their incompetence. They busied themselves with bickering to determine who would have the most power while ignoring board policy and the legal counsel of the district attorney. SACS has laid out six obviously necessary requirements, including resolving their personal problems with a mediator, and given the board until September to meet them. We’re not sure time is going to help some of these people who, instead of thinking about us students, have been doing nothing useful for the last year. So it’s only appropriate to create some sort of policy that will allow for the removal of board members. Our state legislature has thought of this and created Senate Bill 79—a bill that would allow the governor to remove all the school board members and appoint new ones. The appointed school board members would then be the ones to choose our new superintendent.

In representative democracy, citizens elect knowledgeable people to make the right choices for them, and this bill undermines just that. We cannot trust those new board members chosen by an anti-Atlanta state government to represented us. After all, the board’s drama started because they cared about who held the most power. But isn’t our state government doing the same by trying to put Atlanta under its control? Before Nathan Deal became governor, The U.S. Office of Congressional Ethics found him guilty of violating house rules by using his office to push policy that would benefit his car recovery company. Is this the man we’re going to trust to appoint our new school board who will then appoint the superintendent? If he already has a record for playing politics for business interests and money, he has no business making decisions for our school system.

A much better option would be to let voters recall school board members when we want. We should be able to get rid of our representatives when they miserably fail to represent us—it was only the Declaration of Independence that established this precedent.

This story won first place in the Staff Editorial category of the Southern Interscholastic Press Association Mail-In Contest on March 4, 2012.

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