Collin County Politics: Life-Blood of Liberty

January 25, 2022

Covid Update: Collin County has 183,747 confirmed Covid cases. That’s 15,348 more cases than I reported last week and 1,270 of our Collin residents have died (an increase of 24 people). It’s weird to watch so many people act as if there’s not a public health emergency. While most are aware thousands have died, the effects of long Covid aren’t getting much play. This is very scary and worrisome as it means long-term suffering for many, including children and teenagers, and a consistent drain on our healthcare system.

School Boards: Lewisville ISD just joined the dozens – yep, you read that correctly – of school districts closed for staffing issues. They join a long list of schools in our area, including Grapevine Colleyville ISD, Princeton ISD, Mansfield ISD, and even some individual schools in Richardson ISD that simply can’t stay open. Lewisville can’t even offer remote learning due to the lack of available teachers. Interestingly, Covid isn’t the only reason teachers are out. They’re also sick with other illnesses or gone for personal reasons. Huh. Are you telling me that teachers don’t want to work when few, if any, administrators and students are even attempting to keep them safe? Or perhaps they’re upset that crazy parents (without any educational credentials) are trying to second guess what they are or should be teaching. Imagine that.

School board meetings used to be pretty dull with few people outside of the boards themselves showing up. They were running so smoothly that I decided not to even monitor them for a while. With the advent of Covid, that changed. School boards are now a gigantic battlefield and, quite frankly, we’re losing. This isn’t by accident. Have you ever wondered just how it is that parents from all over the country are upset about the same things and are using the same terms? They’re opposed to mask and vaccine mandates, although they seemed to have no problem with the vaccine mandates they had to meet in order to enroll their kids in school. They’re against LGBTQ rights, sex education, and teaching about race. They’re also suddenly opposed to “diversity, equity, and inclusion” and social-emotional learning, programs they hadn’t even heard about several months ago but now are experts on (in their own minds at least). Attend any school board meeting, especially those in Collin County, and you’ll hear this ignorant drivel coming out of the mouths of your neighbors.

Why is this happening? Because right-wing funded groups are driving this bus and they’ll take every last one of us right over the cliff if we let them.

Republican politicians seeking to retain and/or increase their power have eagerly jumped on this bus. Matt Krause sent an infamous request for school districts across the state to detail how many books on his list of 850 titles they had in their libraries and how much they spent on them. Krause is now running for Attorney General. Governor Greg Abbott just released his utterly stupid parent’s Bill of Rights. He wants to amend the Texas Constitution to reinforce that parents are the main decision-makers in all matters involving their children and expand families’ access to course curriculum so all lesson materials are available online. This is an absolutely terrible idea. Beyond the waste of time involved in putting all lessons online, I don’t trust these parents at all. I sent my son to public school so he could learn from subject matter experts, not some selfish, easily manipulated jerks who don’t believe in equity for all.

I don’t want to let the fools suddenly trying to ban books decide what should be taught. Banning books is a fascist move and it’s frightening. Yet that’s what’s happening in our area. Parent or community member idiots complain about a book, a secret reconsideration committee meets to review it, and then they decide whether it stays or goes. Some books are already gone. It should surprise no one that many of the books being investigated involve people of color, women, and the LGBT community.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, this movement is also being funded by right-wing groups. The people making complaints aren’t acting under their own steam. They’re being manipulated.

And lest you believe it stops at the local level, nope. The State Board of Education is in there plugging away at our ability to learn the truth. They’ve been at this for a while (as I’ve covered previously) but the most recent attempt is placing an extremist, Stephen Balch, as a content advisor for the 2021-22 revision of the social studies curriculum. Among other things, Balch said Texas doesn’t overstate the importance of “states’ rights” (it absolutely does), encouraged replacing the term “mass incarceration” with “high incarceration rates” because otherwise students might think the system was aimed at minority imprisonment (it is), and wants to eliminate courses on sociology and psychology in favor of a course on “Genocide and Mass Murder” (uh no). This is one reason (among many) why we must vote for Alex Cornwallis for SBOE.

Local self-government…is the life-blood of liberty.

John Lothrop Motley

Local Politics: Long-time activists all say local politics is where the battle for democracy will be won and they’re right. We cannot allow the employees of conservative billionaires and outrage peddlers to groom the weak-minded to take over our school boards and city councils. And they are trying. I’ve mentioned conservative PACs before in this column and now we have another: Prosper Citizen Group Membership PAC. Although I generally try not to give air to conservative groups, it’s worth your time to click on the link so you can see how they’re organized, determined, and well-funded. And let’s face it: we aren’t. We need to do better. We can do better.

That’s the reason I formed the Liberal Women’s Action Network in 2017. If we want a true grassroots effort, one that gets people excited, knowledgeable, and engaged in local politics, this is where it starts. Sign up to join the team covering your city council or school board. You’ll immediately start watching meetings, learning the issues, and spending time with like-minded people who’re interested in saving our democracy and changing the world for the better. We can turn the bus around by showing up, speaking out, and standing our ground. Everyone is welcome. All you need to do is contact me at and let me know you’re interested. Let’s do this!

Allen School Board: AISD continues to put the families of children with medical issues and disabilities through the wringer. They’re just now getting around to hearing appeals (filed in September) with a state Special Education Hearing Officer. The families want AISD to honor requests for their children to be allowed to receive online schooling (like many of them have had for years) due to the increased risks from Covid. I’ve read through at least one of these briefs, from both the family and the district, and I can tell you that from a common-sense perspective, AISD is not acting in good faith. After the last year we’ve had, I’m not shocked by their lack of empathy or concern for these students, but I’m still furious about it. Sadly, there’s not a lot of room for hope. Only 10% of parents win cases in Texas through due process. This speaks volumes about the system. The current judge has ruled in the district’s favor for the last three years stating that there’s a lack of evidence from parents. Having read this parent’s brief, that’s not a valid argument but what else can the state use as an excuse?

And that’s the current board members. Clearly, it can get worse. When I created my wish list for desired attributes in school board candidates – women of color, good speaker, past experience of leadership, active in the community – I didn’t realize I also needed to wish for someone who’s not crazy, gullible, or well-funded by evil people. Damn! Unfortunately, we have 3 candidates for the school board who meet every single undesirable characteristic. One even has as her slogan, Keep Allen, Allen. I have no idea what that even means although I’m sure it’s terrible. There will be better candidates filing soon, so be on the lookout for them.

Frisco City Council: Both Dan Stricklin and Brian Livingston were missing from the meeting on the 18th. Despite the terrible crush of Covid cases, none of the council members felt it necessary to be role models by wearing masks. Pathetic. Nor did any of the Hebron Marching Band students (4 boys) there to be recognized for their hard work. As a former high school band mom, I must say that Hebron HS Marching Band is indeed spectacular. If only they cared as much about public health as they do musical performance. The only person who wore a mask was the student pastor, Pastor Jacques from New Community Church. Thank you, Pastor Jacques!

During public comments, Jesse Ringness (who’s running for HD66) spoke about the need for an animal shelter. He demonstrated preparation and creativity by asking the city council to create the Next Big Thing by thinking out of the box and repurposing a building and utilizing a private/public partnership to make it happen. Frisco is in dire need of an animal shelter. The only thing we have is the Collin County Animal Shelter (the SPCA in McKinney closed) which has limited space. We should follow his lead and all come up with ideas for the Next Big Thing idea for their winter work session in February. Work sessions are open to the public. This one will set the agenda for the year.

For those worried about the Frisco Special Election, rest easy. You can still vote for Tracie Shipman for City Council Place 5. Election Day is January 29th.

Comments 6

  1. Pingback: Collin County Politics: Citizenship Requires Effort | The Psychological Hook

  2. I look forward to your informative newsletter every week. Thanks for your work endless work,

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