LASD Board Meeting, July 17, 2023: GRAPHIC: Public Officials Transitioning to Engaged Citizens

Summer school board meetings sound just about as interesting as summer school, and the agenda packet for the July 17th meeting of the Ludington board seemed to confirm that.  Thankfully, three members of the Ludington City Council showed up and made it much more interesting by offering some high irony without anybody but me (and maybe a beleaguered board member) fully understanding it.

 

But first let's take a look at what the board approved of in this 'transitional' meeting, coming at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year the board unanimously approved annual stuff:

Non-union at-will contracts

Student Handbook changes

Program & curricula, all grade levels

Distance/Virtual learning procedures

Rehiring Thrun Law PC as LASD legal firm

Rehiring Hungerford Nichols as LASD Audit firm

Staff resignations/probationary hires

Board meeting schedule (6 PM, third Monday of the month)

District depositories/Authorized signatures (Kyle Corlett, Laura Jacobs)

Additionally, they approved the following one time expenses without controversy:

Bond project of $2.9 million for constructions

Big Ideas secondary math textbooks/materials for $99,000

Oriole team room bids for a little over a million total

Great Lakes Pet Fencing bid for $22,000 for football field

Plenty of money being spent, but the topic tonight would be "What the Heck was Board Member Scott Foster thinking when he sent an angry email about beach parking fees to the Ludington City Council through his school email and signed it as a deputy?"  

John Terzano started out and he did a slightly modified version of his speech at the July 10th meeting of the city council after identifying himself by his title.  Foster sat respectfully through it and then Councilor Cheri Stibitz had her say, which took a slightly different tactic by claiming the email was bullying and that the board and superintendent needed to own up to it, if Foster would not.  Here's her speech.  Councilor Les Johnson followed up by saying that he agreed with both of the comments, and asked about the status of the basketball courts east of the middle school that were scheduled to be taken down (Superintendent Corlett would later indicate the courts would go back up near where Franklin School used to be).  Foster remained stoic, if not bored by the procession.  

My turn was next, and even though I had taken a slight dig at Foster at the top of it, I made light of it and had advice that should have been heeded by the three councilors:

XLFD:  "The Ludington City Council wasn't all that happy when citizen Scott Foster politically threatened them in an email sent from his official school email address and signed it using his rank in law enforcement.  Remember, if you try to do my job of being an enraged citizen, you need to make sure you divorce yourself explicitly from your official job so it doesn't appear that your opinion is the opinion of the agency or agencies you are part of..."

And here is the supreme irony of this evening:  every single councilor introduced themselves as a member of the Ludington City Council before expressing their opinion, but none of them clarified whether the opinion they were expressing was their own or that of the city or the city council (or even the opinion of MCC schools in Stibitz's case).  

As such, one could make the case, and I surely will, that their use of their title in public comment was as intimidatory as Foster using his board and deputy position in his email.  Multiply that by three actually, since neither divorced their own opinion from their agency's opinion.  If Stibitz's (or the city council's) claim about Foster being a bully was accurate, then one could infer that Foster was accosted in a public forum by a gang of bullies from the city council chambers.  I would have liked to express that at the meeting, but I knew I was in time trouble even without some impromptu comment on two wrongs not making a right, so I continued:

XLFD:  "...Last meeting, I went over the negative effects of exposure to the recycled tires and crystalized silica that is soon to be put upon the gravel pit that used to be Oriole Field, you have the data sheets so I won't beat a dead horse.  I was not disappointed with the comedic genius of Superintendent Corlett at the last meeting, seeing the irony in the district spending a lot of money to get rid of hazardous chemicals in the school's labs, at about the same time they are spending a lot more money introducing tons of new biohazards on our playing fields.  Well played, I couldn't do that myself without losing some of the edge..."

With all of the irony going on at these summertime board meetings, it inspires me to look at some fine literature for more of it-- but I haven't been able to find too much because I've been looking at a whole lot of dirty books available to ten year olds (fifth graders) at LASD.  This would finish off my comment, if you are very young or sensitive, there are some disturbing images coming up:

XLFD:  "... The board needs to be aware that you didn't pass a memo of understanding with the local library's Unbounded program last fall, there wasn't any drew up between this district and the library.  Unbounded allows books and ebooks from the district library to be accessible by students and this can be a good thing but left unchecked it can introduce age-inappropriate material to our younger students in the elementary. 

Mind you, I read 1984 and Lord of the Flies before I went to high school, back when parents and schools thought they were subversive or age-inappropriate.  Todays crop of books are not in the same league, and our district library has almost all of the most controversial books and have made them available to elementary students without any questions asked.  

                          Only a small part of the depravity available to elementary students at LASD in Blankets

Consider two graphic, graphic novels, Blankets and Gender Queer.  Elementary students can not only read about child molestation, oral sex, self-harm, and golden showers, they can see these acts too.  The literary value of these books is roughly equivalent to my generation's Hustler Magazine, with the exception that those portrayed in these pages are nihilistic, hate their own bodies, and have no discernible moral values. 

  In Gender Queer, the main character hates her body image, leading to a very confused narrative and thoughts of harming herself

Why would the library and the school try to pass these graphic novels onto our kids to confuse and titillate them?    August meeting, you'll get an earful and an eyeful of these books and others, so you may want to leave your children at home so they won't have to see or hear what they can easily see and hear at elementary school without adult supervision thanks to the unbounded Unbounded program [End comment].  

The female author of Gender Queer talks about a dating relationship with a gay man who relates to her body dysmorphia; oh look, she works at a library

Emily Garland, youth librarian at the Mason County District Library, has been shadowing me at these board meetings lately so that she can offer a rebuttal if I should address the Unbound program.  She got up immediately after me and offered her best without addressing the main points or the two books in question.  The statements made in my original post on Unbounded stand uncontested:  5th graders have access to all books in the Ludington and Scottville library, and under this youth librarian's watch, she is allowing a lot of content-inappropriate and age-inappropriate material to be accessed by your children without your knowledge. 

Later that night, I made a FOIA request to both the school and the library to find out some of the background behind the Unbound program and why they were so defensive about it.  This is one of the interesting things I uncovered, an email sent immediately after the meeting:

It was interesting finding my comments were both wrong and misleading, but I'm hoping that she reads this and actually explains to me how I am doing that.  It's not surprising that she wants to use the City of Ludington Daily News reporter to spread her misleading propaganda, nor is it that he volunteered to do it, since his agenda jibes with hers.

She admitted the LASD board hadn't yet passed a MOU with the library, the records I got with the FOIA request prove that too.  The two books I mention and show just a small part of their illustrations is available to 5th graders in the Ludington Elementary.  They depict the four things I mentioned, don't they, Emily?

Nihilism abounds, self-loathing is the norm in these books, and yet the school and library fails to set any kind of meaningful parental controls and sees to it that your child gets the material they request from this service, without any meaningful filter like they might have to block out inappropriate internet sites.  

I see a whole lot of value in a program that allows the local district library to share books with schools and their libraries, but when you have a district library that is heavily invested in books that should not be in the hands of a fifth grader, and offers that 10-year-old unlimited access without parent oversight to books that are likely beyond their comprehension at that age, then that program becomes a problem.  The library and school do not see that as a problem. 

We'll see how they feel after the next meeting.  But I am not overly optimistic about them caring about your 5th grader being exposed to the poisons to the mind in the Unbound program any more than they care about your athletic child being exposed to the poisons to the body from the Astroturf going in at Oriole Field, which should happen by the end of the week.

EPILOG:  The meeting would end with the board going into closed session to discuss school security topics, likely with Scott Foster taking a leading role.  Two of the city councilors (Stibitz and Terzano) were ushered into the Administrative Office waiting room so that they could appear back at the meeting to see whether Foster might say something about the slight they felt happened.  Not surprisingly, the board came out of closed session and adjourned without notifying the two councilors of that fact.  Bad blood between the city and school, we will see.

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Dear Penthouse Forum,

You are not going to believe what just happened to me in the junior section of the Ludington Library...

Good one shinblind, a classic comment. Thanks X or should I say Mr. Rodda for exposing the twisted agenda and illogical thinking of the leftist that control the local libraries, schools and media in and around Ludington. If people are not paying attention then they need to read this article to get a glimpse of the sleazy people who are trying to manipulate not only the children but the public's thinking as well. These people are a danger to our kids and to the existence of our Constitutional Republic. If that sounds like an over the top statement, then reread this discussion very carefully because it contains all of the evidence needed to demonstrate where the left [Marxist] are trying to steer this Country. From introducing potential hazardous material in a school field, to providing and encouraging children to read and practice pornographic ideas to politicians and elected officials using their offices to garner influence. And then there's the local media in bed with Marxist activists who want to propagandize and mislead the public as to their intentions while trying to smear a concerned citizen for bringing to light all the disgusting behavior by these twisted individuals who have been entrusted by the public but whose intention is to undermine the morals of the children while waging a propaganda war against anyone who is willing to reveal their dastardly agenda. Make no mistake, the left is morally corrupt and they are coming for your children.

 

The COLDNews report on this board meeting left out anything about the three councilors speaking at the meeting, or any of the Unbound Library controversy, instead it just reported on the purchases and contracts made, spotlighting the probationary hire for some reason, even though it doesn't seem all that newsworthy.  This has been a trend, when either Jeff Kissell or David Bossick does the reporting, it's like they could just skip these meetings, presume everything is passed unanimously, and get a comment or two from the superintendent and have it ready in a few minutes.  

Everything interesting happening at these meetings are ignored, just like they are in the minutes, where it will say simply that four people spoke during public participation.  This is why I'm vested with going to these meetings-- they won't videorecord them and they never report on anything that is off the agenda.  This is part of the reason the public schools of Ludington is going bad, they try to shut the public out from everything, and this just makes people like you and me more likely to closely observe their actions, because the agenda they really have isn't part of the agenda packet, and it becomes clear when you pay close attention.

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