This Thanksgiving Day, as in past years, I attended the dinner provided by Christ Episcopal Church in Westerly. I want to publicly thank them for their annual effort. Among those volunteering, as usual, was Westerly Sun celebrity Rona Mann in her “turkey hat” working the food line.
I will now respond to last Thursday’s letter to the editor titled “Politics should stay out of the school equation” by Michael Chambers. He is the husband of Donna Chambers of the Chariho School Committee.
Michael Geary, my Town Council colleague, requested an agenda item to be on our last Town Council meeting in Hopkinton dealing with restricting all Chariho citizens to object to certain matters to be only questioned by parents of students in school. The plan was to send a letter to the Chariho School Committee, not the school superintendent, as Mr. Chambers’ letter states.
What Mr. Chambers needs to fully appreciate is that the School Committee itself has blocked discussion on its own committee by denying Pastor David Stall’s requests for agenda items when Pastor Stall was on the School Committee. Pastor Stall’s resignation is a loss to the school district. Mr. Chambers says in his letter that I “see everything through a political prism.” That is mostly true. But the School Committee is a political position, not a professional one. He talks of “The attacks on school committees are part of a national movement to promote conservative political agendas.” Conservatism exists, Mr. Chambers, and so does liberal and progressive politics.
Mr. Chambers states “Holding our children hostage to political doctrine is wrong. Fact and truth need to be taught to our children, not political ideologies.” I can agree with that. However the liberal and progressive ideology that pervades our schools is a legitimate concern.
The public is energized and as a party leader it has energized people who want to run. Those interested in running in 2022 as a Republican in Hopkinton can contact me at email@example.com and (401) 677-9503. I chair the Republicans in Hopkinton.
It is laughable that Mr. Chambers’ stated concern is about politics in education. The “political left,” almost exclusively Democratic, has controlled public education for a long time. You can check on the Open Secrets website where the money to influence education comes from.
The Chariho School Committee “needs to build better bridges” with the community at large. They need to listen to all perspectives, and even be more receptive to putting them on their agenda.
In closing, I do thank Stephen Moffitt, our Town Council president in Hopkinton, for putting the issue about the letter on the agenda. At least we could talk about it.
Councilor Geary and I may have lost, but we could speak on an agenda item! Pastor David Stall could not get agenda items when he was on the Chariho School Committee. At least our Hopkinton Town Council operates differently!
Scott Bill Hirst
The writer is a member of the Hopkinton Town Council.