Do 30-Somethings Have Answers To School Debate?

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 1, 2012

Was that a flicker of light at the end of this long, miserable tunnel of a school mess? It was certainly a generational shift as voters elected two 30-somethings to the Davie County Board of Education to fix what their seniors have failed to do for a decade.
At her first candidate forum, Wendy Horne was so refreshingly honest that she didn’t dodge the landmine question: Would she vote to build a new high school? She said yes, the only candidate to do so. At one time, that would have been the death knell for a candidate. She finished third, earning a seat on the board.
A coalition supported by many young parents with school children pushed three candidates sympathetic to the independent survey that recommends building a new school. Those three, Will Junker, Mrs. Horne and Gladys Scott, finished first, third and fourth respectively. Former Davie High basketball coach Paul Drechsler finished second, leading in all of the southern precincts, again showing the difficult geographical divide over the fate of the high school. Drechsler favors fixing the existing campus. Count on Davie voters to send mixed signals.
President Reagan once noted that those who favor abortion have the comfort of already being born. Likewise, many of the vocal opponents who have stonewalled every attempt to address the high school dilemma are aging Baby Boomers whose children are long-since finished with school. They are doing their own dodge — of taxes.
Last week, the younger generation with school children in tow was heard.
Electing two young people to the school board, of course, is very different from getting voters to approve a $45 million bond referendum that will raise their taxes significantly. That will be a tougher sale, but it is an inevitable question that must be put before Davie County voters — young and old.
What is evident, however, is that voters are fed up with the stalemate.
Last week’s election was also a study in twisted linguistics. One group pushed “conservative” candidates who want to keep the campus where it is. Those wanting to build a new school were labeled “liberal.”
That’s a tortured misuse of the words. Neither position classifies as liberal or conservative. To do nothing, as we have done for too long, is certifiably foolish and an affront to the children of this county who are counting on adults to act … like adults. No reasonable person can inspect the Davie High campus and avoid the conclusion that a drastic change is long overdue.
Our reputation as a good-schools county has been tarnished. This tiresome turf war has blemished us to the …