Rep. John Andrews: Stand Up and Be Counted

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Sarah Otterson (left) and Julie Lester (right) both face recall by Paris voters

Recently the SAD 17 school district in western Maine, my kid’s school district, tried to enact a policy based on transgender ideology.  The bulk of this policy involved five pages of authoritarian mandates using the imperative command of ‘Shall’ thirty-three times in 5 pages.  If that wasn’t bad enough, the real reason for this policy was only a few lines that you would have missed if you weren’t looking. The actual objective of this unnecessary policy was to take away a parent’s right to know what is going on with their child during school hours. The goal of this policy was to drive a wedge between vulnerable children and their parents.

The policy directed staff, usually in a role staffed by an LGBT activist on the district payroll, to become confidant and life coach. The policy instructed them to coach the child through transitioning and to hide all this from parents. This radical policy in the Oxford Hills was an attempted coup d’etat and full-on usurpation of parental rights. 

Sadly, this is going on all over the state.  The prophecy above was fulfilled in the Great Salt Bay school district by an employee who attempted to transition a child while hiding it from the parent. This person is still employed at the school district with no reported consequences for their actions. I can guarantee you that this was not an isolated incident across the state of Maine. It is becoming common practice and encouraged by woke school boards all over the state. Parental replacement seems to be a more important goal of many districts than improving the poor test scores that plague many districts in Maine.

Our schools are under siege by radical activists disguised as educators, social workers and school board members.  It is time to pull our heads out of the sand, pay attention to what is going on and start to pushback. Gone are the idyllic days of an apple on the teacher’s desk and happy students with their innocence intact. We are living in the dark times where trusted educators and administrators are offering our children the poison fruit of transgender ideology. They are selling them falsehoods and an altered reality to gain their trust and drive a wedge between them and the parents who love them.

If that wasn’t bad enough, these forces are backed up by Portland law firm Drummond-Woodsum. Drummond-Woodsum owns almost all of the school law market share in the state and they know it.  The more strife they cause in small towns all across Maine the more billable hours they rack up.  They serve as the Praetorian Guard to woke administrators and school boards across the state.  Their role is more as transgender policy advisors and a public relations team than they are the school district counsel they were hired as by the taxpayers of the district. That’s right, these parents standing up and fighting are the same ones bankrolling their opposition through their taxes that go to local education.

A great example of the Drummond-Woodsum trans-ideology PR team was in South Paris in the SAD 17 school district. For weeks, the battle over the policy to take away a parent’s right to know raged between parents and the woke school board and interim-Superintendent.  Paris has a recall ordinance that allows them to recall school boards members.  Using this ordinance, a local grandparent collected over 700 hundred signatures to recall two Paris school board members who voted for this radical policy.  The recall petition signatures were accepted by the Town Clerk and the select board set a date for the recall election. That’s when Drummond-Woodsum appeared out of nowhere telling the school board that they needed to have an emergency meeting and issue a statement that the Paris recall election was illegal. They were worried that these recall election brushfires of freedom might begin to spread across the state as more and more towns adopted similar recall ordinances if the Paris recall succeeded.

Drummond-Woodsum argued that the recall ordinance was illegal behind closed doors in an Executive Session during the mid-point of the emergency meeting.  However, the state statute under Title 30A clearly stated that Paris was in the right. 

What Drummond-Woodsum was trying to do was create a news story and frame the Paris recall election as illegitimate. They needed to stop this somehow. There’s an old saying among lawyers, “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts; if you have the law on your side, pound the law; if you have neither the facts nor the law, pound the table” and that’s what was going on with this emergency meeting instigated by Drummond-Woodsum.  Thankfully, the SAD17 school board didn’t take the bait – largely due to public pressure and the attendance of many citizens at this last-minute emergency meeting that wasn’t even posted on the district website.

People paid attention, people showed up, and this statement of illegitimacy was defeated.  Weeks later that same transgender ideology policy taking away a parent’s right to know was defeated by indefinite postponement. Weeks after that the voters of Paris successfully recalled the two school board members who voted for that policy.

The reason for this win streak is not complicated. It came down to several things that cannot be imitated or faked.  Those things are vigilance, courage and perseverance. Vigilance is the price of liberty, and we must not be derelict in our duty to watch everything that goes on involving our children and to protect them with everything we have. We need the courage to stand up for what is right and speak the truth in this age of unreason. Finally, we need the perseverance to never, ever give up once we are in the fight of our lives to speak truth to the powerful administrators, boards, and law firms pushing this ideology hellbent on smashing cultural norms upon our children.

You must find these three things within yourself and find others on the same path. Together you must draw a line in the sand and stand up to the out of control woke educational industrial complex. Courage is contagious. Courage is winning, and we need enough parents and grandparents to realize that they are the power to stop all of this madness. Once that happens all of this insanity goes away and we can return to focusing on the classical education of our children while letting them enjoy the innocence of childhood for as long as possible.

Sometimes the fight chooses you; it’s your duty to stand up and be counted when it does.

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