How many times and in how many different ways can something be said before the message is pointless? Before one just gives up saying anything at all? Maybe it’s time to communicate in a different language.
On Monday, upset moms and dads and teachers and retirees gathered at the Sweetwater Union High School District board room to attend a closed session meeting. The rumor, which had spread faster than head lice at a sleepover for urchins, was that board members were hastily convening to discuss Superintendent Ed Brand’s contract (the rumor turned out to be false, according to a district spokeswoman).
That particular crowd doesn’t care much for Brand. Nor do they have great love for the board, though Bertha Lopez seems to escape the public’s wrath more often than not. In all likelihood the people at the meeting don’t want to see Brand get another dime of their money and they are making their feelings known.
It’s a vocal crowd, one that has to be experienced in person to be appreciated. But in absence of being there there’s always audio.
Local station 10News recently published a story about the public’s alleged disrespect of the pledge of allegiance that night. The story was pitched by board member John McCann.
I wasn’t at that board meeting. But I’ve been to others. I’ve seen the crowd voice their disdain for McCann and company in ways that sometimes make me feel sorry for them. Almost.
The crowd at times can be boisterous and rude. The behavior stems from a frustration that’s festered for years. The outbursts aren’t the ideal way of expressing frustration but they are nonetheless understandable.
I’ve also seen McCann wrap himself in the cloak of patriotism and victimhood when he feels attacked and disrespected. I’ve watched him do it when he was on the Chula Vista City Council and I’ve watched him do it on the school board.
It’s as if he’s baiting his detractors into attacking him so that he can ... I don’t know. Be the heroic victim?
And that’s the shame of it all.
Barring a recall (which one effort has already failed) I don’t know how else the people can make their displeasure with the board known other than to yell and boo and hiss and deride. Which, after listening to an audio of Monday’s meeting, is what I gathered they were doing. They weren’t attacking the pledge. They were mocking McCann.
And McCann, in turn, went to the media rather than ignoring the negative behavior.
I’ve said it before: While tattle-taling, name-calling and drama make for great TV and selling free newspapers, it doesn’t make one confident that any of the parties involved are behaving like adults. Que lastima.