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As I See It

School boards the latest political battleground



They used to be rather dull affairs. School board meetings sometimes got contentious, but more often members discussed routine policy items and awarded students recognition for their accomplishment. Lately, these school board meetings have been the subject of police calls, as angry parents call for changes in thinks like mask policies, virtual learning or curriculum they see as too liberal. Things have gotten so tense that a growing number of school board members are quitting to reduce the stress. Even though these are unpaid volunteers, they are being increasingly harassed. At first glance, it would appear those protesting are parents speaking up on behalf of their children. But not always. More and more, well-funded conservative groups are helping guide, fund and staff what appears on the surface to be a grassroots effort. Many of these efforts have lawyers on stand-by prepared to amplify the local disputes. It is good that local parents are interested in their children’s education, and willing to speak out about it. But their cause carries more weight if they are local and not someone dragged in from another part of the country to shout into a bullhorn. So before we grease the wheel we should be sure those who are making the squeak are those who live in our communities, have children in our schools and pay local taxes.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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