Don’t Call For School Personnel Work To Make Sure People Graduate.

Back in 2019, Paul Wagemann was re-elected to the Clover Park School District School Board in the state of Washington.

During an early December webinar where graduation rates were discussed, Wagemann said the school district and school board needed to “crack the whip” and perform better.

Enter into the fray Taniesha Lyons, who lost to Wagemann in the 2019 election by a margin of 62 to 38 percent.

Lyons is demanding that Wagemann resign as “crack the whip” is racist.

Wagemann defended his statement:

Questioned about his statement in a phone call, Wagemann said he was referencing the 10-to-11 percent of students in the district who do not graduate when he said “we need to crack the whip” his intent being, he said, that the school board do all it could to help these youth get their diploma.

“Earlier in the meeting,” Wagemann continued, “we had been discussing ‘Open Doors,’ previously called ‘No Dropouts,’ the program that enables youth to graduate even up to age 21.

“If you’ve ever been to an Open Doors graduation,” Wagemann said, “then you’ve seen the tears. Tears from parents who are so thrilled their children are getting their diploma. Tears from young men and women realizing their dream. It’s very emotional and rewarding. I’ve long been an advocate for this program,” Wagemann said.

Wagemann said his statement that Lyons deems racist was then, in context, “not intended to be anything other than a joint call to do an even better job helping kids succeed.”

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “crack the whip” as:

to use your authority to make someone else behave better or work harder.

A British tribunal ruled that the statement referred to driving horses, not slavery.

We have a hard time thinking that Wagemann’s statement was racist or made with racist intentions. If anything, we once again see how a person who wants to claim others are racists brings race into play as it is Lyons who references race in the school district.

The approach from both people is an interesting study. Wagemann’s statement is one of “we have to do more and make sure everyone is helping kids graduate.” Lyons statement attacks the messenger.

This appears to us to be another case of “cancel culture” where someone who doesn’t like the person or the message wants a person removed because the message was correct, but it “offended” the other person.

Leave a Reply