When School Boards Fail

Imagine this – Your State Legislature takes a bill through to signed law. Happens all the time. It’s controversial to the point of being called “unconstitutional”.

This new law requires your (elected) state school boards to do something specific. Most comply but seven in your county don’t. In fact, they VOTE not to follow the law.

Scores of affected families get together and try mightily to persuade the districts to recognize what they’re doing is willful misconduct. These districts maintain what they’re doing is trying to figure out which law to follow – the constitution of the state or the recently passed law. State precedent is clear though – All state laws are considered constitutional until adjudged otherwise AND that only courts have the jurisdiction to adjudge in such a way.

At this point the school boards are dug in past the point of reasonable dialogue: They are intent on interpretting laws. The families recognize this can’t stand and sets a bad precedent.

The families float a little known, little used statute they call “Writs of Ouster” which simply requires a number of signatures equivalent of 1% of the last election for the office(s) in question or 15 signatures, whichever is higher. One such Writ of Ouster is filed against a district and immediately three of the districts rescind their positions because it’s certain the board members are personally responsible for their own legal fees. It has now become a personal liability the districts can’t cover. They’ve lost their shield.

Shortly thereafter the remaining four districts are told by the State Attorney General, “We’re taking similar action. You have four days to rescind your positions.” The boards do so. But, not without also belligerently voting to sue the Attorney General ASAP.

The parents have had enough of the rogue and defiant behavior of the district boards and file Writs of Ouster against them all.

At this point you have no idea what law these boards are objecting to. At this point you simply know they’re doing things they ought not be doing on principle alone. There is no legal position to support their actions. They’re simply rogue elected officials who won’t respond to reason.

Can you blame the parents for taking drastic measures to reel in their education system?

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2 Comments on “When School Boards Fail”

  1. aRdent Says:

    Well done. Read about this is in the daily paper and heartily applaud this little-known recourse. Thankfully there is more than one way to get elected “representatives” to follow their oath of office, or suffer the consequences.


    • aRdent, It’s not something the parents took lightly. There are lots of very good people on those boards. I know a few of them and happen to like them a lot. They do a fine service to the community all said and done. No dispute there. It’s the thought that willful misconduct was going to be allowed to stand. Yes, we could have ignored it and sent a certain kind of message to these and future board members. Or, we could file writs and let the courts decide. Sending a whole other type of message. It could be the AG and/or the grand jury determine the boards will stand as elected. Whatever the determination, we’ll abide by it and feel good knowing we took the high road.


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