Agendas | Mark’s Remarks - Republic-Times | News

Agendas | Mark’s Remarks

By on February 13, 2019 at 10:00 am

Small towns are interesting places. People come together in various fashions, whether it be in neighborhoods or at functions.  

Most of the time, around here, sporting events are the place we interact the most.

So you have folks running around, interacting, and invariably, someone gets his or her feelings hurt, or decides they have a legitimate gripe about something. Depending on their stamina, this person with hurt feelings or a legitimate gripe can cause quite a stink. If they know people and if they have some sort of public forum, it can become pretty smelly.

Then the press gets involved. Good people, the press. They are just doing their job, and a good story is something they are going to try to get. I mean, come on. Why wouldn’t the press cover a story, especially if it was a juicy one?

The recent brouhaha in one local school district has had the makings of a great story. You have a few disgruntled folks trying to bring down a few people they are upset with. Or maybe they just want to cause a big stink. Who knows? There are stories in the paper, there are meetings, there are people sitting around trying to sound professional. 

And all the while, there’s the press taking notes and reporting.

In this particular case, generalizations are being made. A couple of people feel that they can speak for an entire group of teachers.  Let me be clear and tell you this: don’t always believe generalizations. Sure, we get aggravated with our administration from time to time and they get aggravated at us. That’s life.  But the things being said about the overall majority of teachers are false.

Beware of generalizations.

From my viewpoint as a veteran teacher, I’ve seen it all before. We’ve had good, solid boards of education be upset by people coming in with personal agendas. It always happens. Just when you think you have a solid board, doing what they are called to do, you have someone come in who needs to get their piece said.  

Many of them are attention-seeking folk who simply want to perform.  Again, they rarely know fully what they are even talking about.

What it usually boils down to is personal pride and the need to stir things up. Rarely have I seen such escapades be successful, and almost always I have watched people who have the facts and the knowledge win out. If you attended a recent board meeting in this school district, you would have seen a lot of classy, professional behavior going on, with a lot of ire and babble from the disgruntled being shot down or proven wrong. 

Have you ever noticed that many of the outspoken and the loudest ones who speak out all the time are also the most uninformed?  Then there are those who come back with rebuttal; soft-spoken, professional, and with all the facts to back up their side of the argument. Whom would you listen to?

Anytime you have unrest in the school community, you have people throwing their hat in the ring to run for school board. Oh good heavens, I say.  So, we are aggravated and we are upset. We have a personal agenda to present. Why not run for school board?  Please. No.

Folks, I urge you to get involved in school board elections, even if you no longer have kiddos in school. Please talk to others. Please read and listen.  Please attend forums and please do your homework.  We must continue to strive for educated, fair school boards who have the correct goals in mind when they decide to run for office.

Find out who these “agenda” folks are and ask them why they are running.   Keep talking to them, because they won’t be forthcoming with the real reason. When you find out the truth, cross them off your list.

Elect the ones who have the most important goal in mind: what’s good for our children.

Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.