In May, John Castillo’s son was killed during a shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado. In the wake of the shooting that left 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo dead and eight others injured, Ascent Classical Academy, a charter school that was, until recently, part of the Douglas County School district, decided to arm its staff.
The problem is, the district doesn’t like the idea of teachers carrying firearms. But the question should be: who cares?
Douglas County School Board Superintendent Thomas Tucker went so far as to proclaim, “We will fight tooth and nail if any school, whether it is a neighborhood school or a charter school, that decides to arm its teachers. [If] it’s a charter school, we are going to ask that they leave the Douglas County School District.”
And that’s just what the Douglas County School Board did in late August.
“We had a meeting with the superintendent and the board chair and some other staff last week, and we just realize that we were in different places in how we approached this,” Ascent’s Executive Director Derec Shuler said. “They don’t want to see programs like this in the district.”
Ascent Classical now “plans to sever ties with the Douglas County School District and instead seek authorization from the state,” The Denver Post reports. According to Shuler, “The practical effect for what will happen in the classroom isn’t much. Kids will still get a great education. From our perspective, it is a lot more that our school will have to have on its plate, a lot more responsibility. We will have to accept to operate more autonomously.”
Ascent should count its blessings. After all, school districts do what all government bureaucracy does: represent the narrow interests of a powerful few, create burdensome red tape, revel in its power to tell everybody else what to do, and collect unseemly amounts of other people’s money.
Has anyone ever stopped to wonder why, exactly, we need school districts at all? In 2015, there were roughly 13,600 school districts in America.That’s 13,600 political bodies, all composed of power-hungry individuals, many of whom you likely disagree with, some of whom you may even loathe, vying for the authority to oversee the education of your child.
What makes these people more fit than the child’s own parents to determine how that child is educated? Willingness to conform completely with the policies of a corrupt, progressive, and ever-overreaching federal government seems to be the primary qualification.
After all, John Castillo himself supports arming teachers. After Ascent parent Rachel Keane spoke passionately in favor of the school’s armed staff policy, Castillo approached her. The Highlands Ranch Herald reported, “I agree with you,” [Castillo] said, wearing a T-shirt bearing a photo of his son who died in the May shooting at STEM. Seeing the shirt and realizing who he was, Keane pulled Castillo into a hug. “Keep the passion,” he said.
It’s not as if Ascent is calling for anything more radical than what government schools regularly promote with pride. California schools have 10-year-old girls participate in “condom relay races” (not a joke). The teachers electing to carry firearms at Ascent have their concealed carry permits and are trained by local SWAT and law enforcement officers on proper handling of guns. They’re also prepared to administer lifesaving first aid to trauma victims.
Even if the school advocated for some useless, bizarre new policy, isn’t it the parents’ right to send their children to whatever school they find to be most aligned with their personal philosophies?
Shuler said arming teachers is “something that our parent community has been very vocal (about) wanting in the community.”
Who, then, is the school district to stand in the way of parents’ doing what they think best? Moreover, why do school districts exist at all?
“One of the big questions will be whether the charter school will still have access to some of the Douglas County tax dollars to support its operations since it is still educating students in that area,” reports Channel 7 Denver.
There we go! It all comes down to money and the power that comes with wielding it. School districts are nothing but governmental bureaucracies on a smaller scale. Think, if you can bear it, of Russian nesting dolls filled with teachers union toadies created to carry out the decrees of a depraved regime.
Being a school board member is nice work if you can get it. Los Angeles Unified School District board members make a cool $125,000 a year. Yep. That’s a six-figure salary. And telling other people how to raise their children? Priceless.
School districts, and all educational entities tied to government, should be stripped of their funding and power. School districts are an unnecessary middleman. Tax dollars should instead be allocated to parents to decide where and how to educate their children. Whether that be in a school with armed teachers, or at home with armed parents.