The Des Moines public school district isn’t even hiding its political motivations anymore. And worse yet, it’s now pressuring the students to go along.
Today (Sunday) Jackie Norris, wife of failed governor candidate John Norris, sent an email to parents of Des Moines Roosevelt football players, urging them to encourage their sons to “March to Terrace Hill to tell the Governor how they are feeling” about the fact that Des Moines public schools can’t play sports because they refuse to hold in-person classes, believing it’s just too dangerous.
(I’ll say that again, in case you missed it: The Des Moines public schools think it’s far too dangerous to hold in-person classes, but they believe playing sports is perfectly safe, that this isn’t an inconsistency, and that they need to “March on Terrace Hill” to protest this absolute injustice! Got that?)
That the wife of a failed governor candidate is helping organize such a political march against a sitting governor isn’t surprising. And it says everything we need to know (and confirms everything we believed) about the motivations of the Des Moines public school board and Superintendent Tom Ahart: This is politics.
It seems like a march is in order, but as many others have pointed out, it should be headed to Tom Ahart’s house, not Terrace Hill.
I’m not alone in that belief. Writing about the march on his Facebook page early Sunday afternoon, WHO Sports Director Keith Murphy, whose son is on the Roughriders football team, said that “previous feedback predicts many will say the team should march to DMPS School Board and Superintendent, not Governor.”
Oh boy was he prescient. The comments to his post, which is available here, show that many parents are placing their anger exactly where it belongs: on the school board and politically motivated superintendent.
One commenter writes of Ahart: “this is 100% political for him. He has some political aspirations and thinks this will get him noticed by the party and he will be able to get elected to political office. He has totally used these kids as pawns.”
Could 👏 Not 👏 Have 👏 Said 👏 It 👏 Better.
And what about these coaches who are helping to organize this political stunt? Do they not realize the coercive effect they have on these kids? Does it not cross their mind that maybe these students don’t want to participate, but feel pressured by their coaches to do so?
We already know there are Des Moines public school teachers who think Ahart is wrong but are too afraid to say so publicly. To avoid retribution, they’ve decided to remain anonymous.
My suggestion–and it’s just a suggestion; I don’t have the ability to coerce kids like Ahart and the coaches do–is that these students march to Ahart’s house with his message: “Ahart is a political hack! We want our school back!” It has a ring to it, and it has the benefit of being true.
Good luck, Roughriders! I’m cheering for you!
Here’s some of the feedback from Keith Murphy’s post, if you’re interested: