I have seen comments on social media requesting that I attend the meeting and be a voice at the School Board Meeting.
There are a few reasons why I won’t be doing that. This topic in their heads has been decided and the meeting is a formality. A courtesy if you want the sugar coated version.
I would be awarded my 3 minutes, like everyone else, while they will look at you with that unblinking blank stare. Let’s face it, they are more interested in getting out of there early rather than listening to speaker’s rant and rave. Why do you think they only provide 3 minutes and not 10 minutes? It’s based on a worst case scenario, maximum expectation of 10 speakers at 3 minutes each which equals 30 minutes. IF that doubles to 20 speakers, it’s still numbers they can live with.
THEIR terms are never in a level playing field and it will never be. In going into a meeting to speak on a topic it will always be on their terms. I prefer to do things on my terms and not on a platform where there is a potential that I can be censored, escorted out or arrested as a political ploy under fake pretenses.
When the voices of dissent subside what was said falls into the abyss of memory, and later is rarely recited as it happened but rather a version of it. That is the downside of speaking. Your audience no matter how well spoken, pointed and brilliant you are, the speech will only reach the capacity of the room. For them there is a level of control in that. When you speak the person hearing it will pick up a few points of what your saying and begin analyzing it and will turn off hearing for the remainder of what you said. Afterwards it will be that one thing they focused on that they will remember. Over time even that will become cloudy upon recollection. Writing has a completely different effect.
Write it in a blog, social media, the local newspaper or discussion forum and it reaches farther and allows time for people to analyze ever single word if they choose to do so. The words you write stick to the wall, while the spoken words slide off over time. Nope, I won’t be speaking at the meeting but that doesn’t mean much. I just like doing things my own way.
This is not my first Topic or posting of public opinion. I have done several hundred including in the local newspaper, at my sight JeffDavisparish.com
and on another sight I built called ‘mouthinoff.com’ many years ago. I have owned the domain jeffdavisparish.com for 27 years now and have been doing my rantings long before the advent of the internet, so its probably closer to 33 years.
It has had few different forms over the years but it always had a place where I could rant and rave or as I put it “mouth off”.
These days it is just a place I post my blogs and I am not restricted by social media Nazi censorship.
Over the years I have gone after various tax proposals including a parcel tax to fund the schools that would have been a disaster for parish residents,
going after the opposition of the Dollar General store in Hathaway, the cell phone tower across from the Hathaway school, the conversion of the
gravel roads to blacktop roads and other various crusades. I have written about and sent out email and letter campaigns to politicians at various times.
This has been going on since around 1988’s off and on. I have been to various meetings, spoke at times and often just listened because I was on a fact-finding mission, collecting fodder for my rantings and ravings.
The Parcel Tax is one that I was most passionate about and the origin of this tax proposal was the JDP School Board. It was a monster in the making. It had already made it to the election ballot and they had to pull it at the last minute, when they reached out to their lawyers, after the pressure was put on them, who told them it was not winnable. To make a long story short, they reversed course and dropped the subject. But that was back in a time when some elected officials were actually interested in your input and some were even reasonable thinkers.
Sometimes you’re on the winning team, sometimes you lose. That’s just the way things are. In the past, I could be deemed a troublemaker but today they call those troublemakers “activists” and ” influencers”. My opinions and subsequent rantings about and at local political subdivisions have been a mix of occasional support and opposition. Mostly opposition, because I am a Richard like that!
Why not go to the meetings? I have way too much fun and scattered successes in what I have been doing. Why change? What would I accomplish in 3 minutes? They have the whole process set up for “constituency input” tilted in their favor. Its important that people attend and speak, but that should be one of numerous strategies, and while I don’t rule it out for future rantings, for this one I am taking a pass. What I do is more like guerrilla fighting of sorts, for the lack of a better term. Can’t reveal what all that entails but let’s just say its sometimes creative.
Lastly, I voted for a School Board Member who is supposed to represent me.