Kelly and I had an enlightening conversation this morning with a woman named Karen Martin. She's a retired school teacher in the Troy school district and spent many years at School 14. She's upset that while a cardboard cutout of President Obama stood proudly at the school for 8 years, no such accommodation will be made for President Trump. She believes this is misguided at best and dangerous at worst.
Before we go any further let me state this. I just met Karen Martin but she appears to be a thoughtful person who is thinking about the well-being of the kids, not an angry, politically-motivated Trump supporter. In fact, she says she feels bad about putting her former district in a bad light. However, she is convinced the school is playing politics, is afraid of upsetting some parents and ultimately is failing the children.
We asked for a comment from the principal. We got this statement from the Superintendent:
"I am responding to your email to Mrs. Cloutier from earlier this morning.
There is absolutely no political agenda involved in this and no political statement being made. The Mission of the Troy City School District is to graduate all of our students college and career ready and it is what we are focused on each and every day. There was a cutout of former president Barack Obama, the first African American president. This was not a political or partisan statement. The purpose of the cutout was to remind students that with hard work, they too can be whatever they want to be. As a public school district, we are very careful to always remain politically neutral.
Mr. John Carmello
Superintendent of Schools Troy City School District "
Karen Martin suspects there would be a Hillary Clinton cutout at School 14 had Clinton won, with the justification being "first woman president." We'll never know, but I'm betting she's right about that. Martin says, "I expect a BALANCED educational system especially in elementary school. I am NOT politically involved in the town, city or state government. How can you refuse to put up the President's image in our PUBLIC schools?"
Here is the entire, unedited interview Kelly and I did with Ms. Martin. - Chuck