Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Forum: School Choice in Croydon; Valley News

Forum: School Choice in Croydon; Don’t Publicize Shooters; A Putin Solution | Valley News

Rule of Law in Croydon

Dear Editor,

Much of what’s being said about the Croydon school choice situation seems to miss the fundamental point being raised by the Croydon School Board, which is simply this: If the law clearly
states that you can do something, but an employee of the state claims that you can’t, which do you follow, the law, or the employee? The Croydon School Board (along with the Croydon Selectboard) believes that you follow the law, and that’s what we’re doing. This is called “the
rule of law.”

The editors of Valley News Forum writer Tyler Pierce Harwell of New London, and many others who
have expressed opinions on the matter seem to believe that you should follow the employee. We don’t know what that’s called, but it’s not the rule of law.

Jody Underwood
Chair, Croydon School Board

‘Hit Piece’ Against Croydon

To the Editor:
The dignity of Croydon’s political process and the fate of our children demands that I respond to the hit piece in the Valley News (“Questionable Choice; Croydon’s Legal Fight on Tuition”). The
editorial was long on uninformed opinion, short on constructive dialogue. To characterize Croydon’s motives as “making a point” trivializes the plight of five children otherwise locked in an education
system incapable of meeting their needs. Not one board member, nor the majority of Croydon citizens who support school choice, does so for such petty reasons. Solving a problem (five problems, to be precise), as the editorial dismisses, is central to our decision to fight for parental rights. It is, in fact, more appropriate to ask why any adult believes the needs of these children should be subordinate to an inviolate education bureaucracy.

The editorial reprints some of the state’s arguments, yet ignores all of Croydon’s supportive legal opinion, choosing instead to quote attorney Chuck Douglas only on the occasion
that he veers into commentary. From this uneven treatment we are meant to accept that Croydon chooses not to abide by the rule of law. Nonsense. This is biased cherry-picking at its worst. When small minds dismiss your cause as “ideological” and “quixotic” (Scrabble win, Valley News!),
it’s usually a good sign; it means they have little of substance to counter your arguments. Claiming that a challenge to the state’s interpretation of law amounts to “undermining the foundation of
democracy” is hyperbolic rubbish. Peaceful challenges to government hegemony is the foundation of democracy. The author seems to recommend that we obediently roll over in the face of any challenge, no matter how absurd.

It’s not surprising to read opposition articles on such a hot-button topic. The complete lack of objectivity and disjointed logic is, however, disappointing for a subject of such import. Readers deserve better. I would love to ask the author what prompted him/her to write such a poorly researched, lopsided editorial. Not surprisingly, the author chose not to sign it.

Jim Peschke
Croydon School Board
Editor’s note: Valley News
editorials reflect the opinions of the newspaper’s editorial board,
which includes the publisher, editor, editor-at-large and editorial page

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