Update From Superintendent Regarding the First Amendment

Elections seem to be a time in the year when the best and the worst come out in people.  In a way, this runs parallel to our favorite team playing against our arch rival.  We want a fair game and enter into the game expecting the best from our team and the opposing team to achieve that goal.  This past weekend, two events occurred that are worth mentioning.

The first was a flyer sent out providing information about the Supplemental Levy. The school board passed a resolution back in March to have the voters within the district consider the funds needed to educate students through a levy.  The flyer had two pieces of information that indicated it came from Mountain View School District #244.  The district has not trademarked its logo nor controls who copies icons from its website.  The district has held levy presentations to educate the community on what appears on the current ballot measure.  One of the freedoms we enjoy in this country is ‘free speech,’ the ability to relay one’s thoughts to others through a variety of media.  Through education, school-aged students learn how to study an issue and relay their thoughts to others.  The group producing the flyer exercised their right to ‘free speech’ through their research into what they wrote.  If accuracy is a concern, then contact the school district or go to the district website to see what the district has consistently relayed to those attending levy presentations have learned.

The second event was a community meeting where one of the trustees spoke and answered questions.  The impressions posted online are a good reminder that elected officials, such as members of the school board, can only act in a meeting where a “committee of the whole” takes action.  All other comments or information relayed by a trustee may be what the school board has discussed or their idea on addressing an issue.  We see coaches bait the referees in athletics.  This is a divide-and-conquer tactic that makes the game unfair.  Whatever was stated should always be taken in the best light.  Repeating what was said in one’s own perspective is ‘free speech’ at work and should be viewed as that person’s opinion when commenting on an elected official’s communication.  In this case, the community has board minutes and levy presentations to ‘fact check’ accuracy.

“Life isn’t fair” is a statement we tell our children at home and they hear it in the classroom.  Each generation grows up in an era that is more complex than the previous generation.  In sports, we desire fairness as we enter the game.  The outcome is determined through those that play the game, not those in the stands, who are sometimes at their best or worst.  These two events remind us of the importance of ‘free speech’ and our vigilant effort to find the facts out from sources that we know and can trust.  In this case, trustee meeting minutes and levy presentation information.  The recent two events are a good reminder the First Amendment remains strong.  The government is held in check as the right to speak about issues of concern is upheld without regulation.