Durham Board of Education
The Durham Public Schools are facing their most profound financial and existential crisis in years. We have lost a superintendent, hundreds of teachers and a whole boatload of money. Meanwhile, transparency is nowhere to be found (see, for example, the hiring of the new superintendent), and at the monthly meetings a number of the current board members treat parents with contempt while intimidated teachers suffer in silence.
"We hope Beyer runs again and that her campaign puts [Stephen] Martin on notice that other qualified candidates stand ready to serve [on the Durham Board of Education] should his commitment waver."
Those were the Indy's words before the May 4 primary (Our Endorsements, April 14). I would argue that by 1) barely campaigning, 2) bringing no new ideas to the table, and 3) voting down a recommendation that top DPS administrators discuss and recommend a voluntary cut to their own salaries (while hundreds of teachers were being let go), incumbent Stephen A. Martin's commitment has indeed wavered.
But I bring good news: You and your readers have another opportunity to endorse and, more importantly, vote for Natalie Beyer for Durham School Board District 4B! Because Beyer was so ready to serve that she—a virtual unknown driven only by her intellect and abiding devotion to DPS students and teachers—was bested by two-term incumbent Martin by just 180 measly votes, there will be a runoff election Tuesday, June 22.
Early voting begins June 3. Let's hope Durham makes the most of its second chance.
Hal Crowther picks nits
In a time when nations are proving bankrupt by gross mismanagement, Hal Crowther decides to pick nits with the citizens who demand that federal officials uphold the law controlling national borders ("The Tea Party," May 5). Their wish to enjoy constitutionally protected rights is termed racist. I do not assume his opinions are his own; yet his fool rhetoric obscures facts. Citizens are in fiscal and physical danger when denied the protection immigration laws provide. Yet Crowther applauds this avoidable crisis—a prime apologist for the dishonest big-plantation political follies that disrupt civil life.
It is mindless to avoid facing the fiscal situation in America or Europe. Only an idiot or worse could blame citizens who object to being used and who demand that paid officials enforce the laws to keep things honest. There is no obligation to provide the world a better living—people must fix where they live. When that happens, we will all live and trade in peace.