RI School Committee Association president is failing the parents of his state; he could learn something from his counterparts around the country
Well, except the guy in Massachusetts
As news shifts to election results, the fallout continues over the now infamous parents are the equivalent of domestic terrorists letter the National School Board Association (NSBA) sent to the Biden Administration on September 29th that led to the Department of Justice putting the FBI in charge of parental upset and outrage at school boards and school officials.
Twenty three state school board associations have released official statements to denounce their national parent organization and five state boards have withdrawn their membership.
None of the state associations who support the letter have been willing to say so publicly—even after the NSBA apologized to its members for sending it.
The Rhode Island Association of School Committees (RIASC) did not distance, denounce or withdraw. In fact, they didn’t even respond to an inquiry about whether or not they had been consulted before the letter was sent.
Instead, RIASC president Tim Duffy was fast off the blocks with an email at 8:18 am the morning after the US Attorney General announced that the FBI would take the lead on parents at school board meetings.
Last week the National School Boards Association sent a letter to President Biden, decrying the threatening behavior of some public members attending school board meetings. NSBA requested that the President direct the Justice Department and the FBI to reach out to local leaders about ways to address the threatening behavior.
RIASC will contact our US Attorney as well as the FBI and coordinate with them on what steps if any, we need to take.
In the interim, please apprise me of any issues you have had during your Committee meetings on topics such as mask mandates, issues with equity education, rights for LGBTQ, and BIOPC students.
Rhode Island Association of School Committees
Tim Duffy didn’t express any interest in hearing about parents who are angry that IEPs aren’t being followed or that their kids are being forced to sit silently during lunch or that student achievement data is horrific; he specifically cites mask mandates, equity education, rights for LGBTQ and I suspect he means BIPOC students (not BIOPIC) but typos are a theme with him, as you’ll see in a moment.
Memo to Tim Duffy and others who continue to ridicule concerned and angry parents from their bully pulpits:
A parent who does not want their child to have access to texts riddled with gender ideology and pornography (that includes sex between men and boys) in school is not against “rights for LGBTQ” students.
A parent who opposes their son being taught that being white and male makes him an oppressor does not oppose “rights” for students of color.
In emails obtained by my organization, Parents Defending Education, Tim Duffy’s name appears again.
But before we look at his sad contribution to the email chain, let’s look at an email from Duffy’s counterpart in Delaware to get a sense of the very low expectations we have come to accept in Little Rhody.
Below is an email from John Marinucci, director of the state school board association in Delaware. He too is from a small state but unlike Tim Duffy of RIASC, Marinucci exudes competence, a steadfast commitment to parents’ constitutional right to be heard and his belief that his board should remain “apolitical.” (It is actually kind of impossible to imagine Tim Duffy seeing his role as anything other than political.)
For contrast, here’s how Tim Duffy represented my state of Rhode Island:
He mentions none of the push-back he received because he does not care about parents. He shows zero respect, concern or deference toward anyone except himself and his organization. “Woe is us” cried out Tim as he read the New York Post. We can assume that WJ is really the WSJ or Wall Street Journal and he was right—their editorial board did pen an op-ed. I hope Mr. Duffy didn’t collapse under the weight of another, gasp, newspaper opinion piece.
Massachusetts’ Glenn Koocher, executive director of their school committee association, also beclowned himself by writing to say how “very happy” he and his board colleagues were that NSBA “reached out to the FBI.” Read it below and weep:
For your interest, I am including more emails sent by other state school board association officials who take their jobs much more seriously than their Rhode Island counterpart.
To end on a happier note, please enjoy these nine seconds of awesomeness between a boy and his Dad.
Really pleased that you called out Tim Duffy. Long past due..he's been a shill for the teachers' unions for as long as he's been in the RI political circle. Always wondered if there was ever a time that he actually understood the role of school commitees in RI. I also recall that he has consistently testified against any form of school choice and against the bill to reverse the current "legality" of sexual encounters by adults in schools with minor students.
Thank you for the article. I called this out at last night’s Barrington, RI SC mtg where our Chair is on the RIASC BOD. I’m not the only one here who has addressed this with her/the SC with no reply. But we’re not giving up.