Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Dec. 20
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School Board Appointment A Teachable Moment
A chorus of congratulations poured forth from supporters of Claudine Jones on the Carlsbad Unified Parents Facebook website following her provisional appointment to the school board on September 16. But within days many group members received an anonymous email message, blasting the board for appointing someone who "can be relied upon to lie, spread false information...without any morals, or sense of right from wrong."
Recipients of the message wondered how this unnamed person got access to their email addresses. The administrator of the site removed the slanderous attack after it was posted by Sage Naumann, one of the losing candidates for the appointment, who said he had "already denounced it," but posted it because "people asked what it said." He added, "I really don't like overzealous group administrators."
Naumann should be commended for denouncing the anonymous attack, but this may be a teachable moment for the 18 year-old candidate in the November, 2014 election. He's launched public attacks on board members, beginning with his June 7 announcement of his candidacy: "Continued negligence on behalf of the current School Board has resulted in budget deficits, pink slips, and larger classroom sizes."
Last month he posted this on his Facebook website: "Is it just me, or does it seem suspicious that both our superintendent and a board member have jumped ship to take jobs with a law firm that taxpayers are actively paying for?" He's filed a California Fair Political Practices Commission complaint against retiring school board member, Kelli Moors.
We might ask the young candidate a similar question. Is it just me, or does it seem suspicious that the anonymous attack on the school board's appointee came one day after Naumann was "honored to speak at the Tri-City Tea Party meeting, giving them an update on Carlsbad Unified"? The TCTP website describes part of their mission is to, "Restore our educational system from the progressive history revisionism."
Maybe there's a lesson in this for all of us when it comes to non-partisan elective office, like school board membership. Carlsbad has been fortunate in attracting candidates who place kids first, without political agendas. Anonymous hate mail thrives in a world of personalized political attacks.
Rather than disavowing, yet posting, the hateful attack on the board and their appointee, Naumann could have had the class to do what another losing candidate did. Kelly Lloyd Schafer wrote, "My heartiest congratulations to Claudine. She is well educated in education issues and will be an informed representative."
More like this:
- My Take On School Board Candidates — Sept. 14, 2013
- Politics Enters Carlsbad School Board Race — Aug. 10, 2013
- Grand Jury finds San Diego Unified School District's website too political — May 7, 2013
- Are Too Many Chula Vista Elementary School Board Members Handpicked? — March 28, 2012
- We Won! — Nov. 18, 2004