I Hope We Are Paying Attention

There is something interesting going on in Canyon, specifically, within the CISD.

Tuesday, May 9, I shared the story of Canyon Independent School Disctrict president Bill Jenkins and his call for board member Paul Blake to resign his position during a meeting May 8. This came little more than two days after Blake was re-elected to the board. To be accurate, he ran unopposed.

The sparks that flew at Monday’s school board meeting were created by comments Blake made at a candidate forum in April. The candidates were asked how they would handle the “LGBTQ Agenda” to which Blake responded, “I just don’t think the school board has any business in sex education or promoting perverse, degenerate, demonic thing that’s from the devil, because there’s nothing right, you know it’s a mental issue.”

So let’s get back to the meeting Monday, May 8. Item number 6 on the school board’s agenda was the “Consideration and action to adopt a resolution regarding the renewed commitment of the Board of Trustees in the mission of Canyon ISD.” It is the Board of Trustees to which Blake was re-elected.

While discussing that particular agenda item, Jenkins blasted Blake for his comments at the April candidate’s forum. A CISD teacher did the same.

The board voted 5-1 to approve the resolution with Blake being the lone dissenting vote.

Jenkins then demanded Blake’s immediate resignation which he refused to give. Blake is also facing a federal lawsuit. An LGBTQ+ advocacy has hinted it may do the same, asking ABC7 Amarillo (KVII) for anonymity until the suit is filed. Why? And why honor the request?

Meanwhile, there have been a couple petitions started using the website Change.org by students of Randall High School. One, started April 28 and against Paul Blake serving on the school board had just over 300 signatures as of late afternoon May 12. The other, started May 9 and for Blake serving on the board had almost 850.

The petition against Blake wrote “It’s unbelievable to think someone like this will be on our board. This petition was made to make sure he isn’t allowed to make decisions for our future generations.” The for Blake petition notes “We must stand with Paul Blake and our Christian values and against LGBTQ “Sex Education” being pushed in our schools.”

I don’t normally put a lot of stock in these things, online petitions, What is the real value? I mean, the real winner is Change.org, correct? Still, this one is very interesting and leads to something I shared regarding the drag show event and WTAMU.

You will recall I wondered if moving that event off campus might actually have prevented something going wrong; even protected people?

So here we have students – granted, anyone can go to that online petition and add their signature, even create it – but I am inclined to believe it is students vs. students. The petitions serve as real-time data, metrics that might be used to better understand:

  • Are the “future generations” the “against” students – and others often speak of, does it include everyone or just those willing to support your agenda?
  • If there are actually students – hundreds of them it would appear – that are not offended by Blake or his comments, then do their voices – in this case – signatures count?

It is clear that what Blake said in April upset and offended some people. At least, they are acting as if they are upset by it. But if speaking one’s mind, stating one’s position is grounds for removal, then how or why is it those same people are called everything from fascists, nazis and any variation of ‘phobic’, be it trans, homo, xeno and efforts made to silence them?

This is why what is taking place in Canyon, if viewed with a measure of common sense but an equal amount of understanding, can be more than a riff between a school board member and that board’s president. It should open some eyes to the fact that – though you may think you do – special interest groups do not speak for or represent everyone. Some folks that feel the need to back special interest groups in defiance of those with differing view points might want ti seek both sides of the story or, at least, what they are feuding over.

Be offended. Take action if you feel it is called for (don’t issue idle threats through an accommodating media source). But if I were the CISD – any school district or school campus – I would be paying close attention AND listen to the students like those at Randall High School. Help them to understand we can have different opinions and still get along. If all you teach is getting rid of things – people – that say or do things that offend you, you are weakening them. You may also be unwittingly creating a powder keg with a very short fuse.

The thoughts and opinions shared here may or may not reflect that of KGNC, its staff, management or Alpha Media.