As I watched the Board of Education (BOE) meeting telecast from May 9, I was disappointed to hear Guilford Public School’s Superintendent Dr. Paul Freeman’s fearmongering. I believe that, along with several BOE members, Dr. Freeman insinuated the resignation of two current school principals, and potentially any other resignation by a school official or teacher, would be due to the actions of individuals in town who will simply not acquiesce to the direction the current administration is taking our public education system. This is dangerous rhetoric that attempts to divide our community even further than it already has been by the BOE election last November.
Is Dr. Freeman using these resignations as a chance to push his own narrative? For all any of us know, the individuals leaving could have opportunities in another field, or in another town, they wish to pursue. Or maybe these individuals disagree with the current state of Guilford’s public education and rather than share their feelings publicly and be “tarred,” as BOE member Dr. Richard Hersch shockingly suggests as appropriate behavior, they’ve decided to take their talents elsewhere. Yet another reason may be they would rather not be cast as an agitator or as a dog with a bone. Starting to understand the playbook?
America was built on the principle that free speech and the opportunity to express different viewpoints is for the betterment of the country. But through the results of the past voting cycle, Guilford has become a microcosm of what passes for social discourse today: One group preaching unity and inclusiveness, but casting out opposing views as racist and dangerous. All of Guilford’s citizens deserve to be heard. It’s past time we all recognize this before it’s too late.