Fargo School Board recall falls flat
I'm glad to see there will be no Fargo School Board recall election. The four targeted school board members have all done a very good job under very difficult circumstances. The stakes during this recall effort were extremely high and extremely frightening. This was an attempted takeover of the Fargo School District by a crowd of people who are anti-science, anti-mask and anti-common sense.
Also, they acted like a bunch of childish brats. It was rude that during a school board meeting, organizer Allie Ollenburger said they were going to show the board “how many people are fed up and done with you guys not listening.” Much worse was that the recall group deliberately refused to wear masks during that school board meeting, even though signs were posted in the building that masks were required. We all have to obey rules that we might not agree with. By disobeying that rule, the recall group sent the horrible message that rules don’t matter to them, and they sent the message to the public that they weren’t fit for the school board.
Beyond that, their submission of so many invalid signatures indicated they were inept, if not fraudulent. It reminded me of when I was a reporter for WDAY-TV in the 1980s and 1990s, and Torfin Teigen submitted petitions signed by “Senator Quentin Burdick,” and “Mrs. Quentin Burdick.”
When I asked Teigen if the Burdicks really signed that petition, he said, “No. They weren’t home, but they would have signed it if they were home.” At least Teigen was honest about the invalid signatures.
An unfair ruling
Shocking to see Fargo’s Mackenzie Bazile sentenced to just 90 days in jail for raping and impregnating a 13-year-old girl. The prosecution asked for 10 years in prison, which is what Bazile deserved. What kind of a lame message does this send about committing such a horrific crime?
At least that sexual assault didn’t happen in Texas. Even though she was only 13 and she was raped, the victim would be forced to have the baby in that state. Do Texans really feel good about that?
- Great to see Renae Moch has been named Woman of the Year by the North Dakota Women’s Network. Moch is director of Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health. She has demonstrated tremendous leadership and courage throughout the pandemic as coordinator of the Burleigh-Morton COVID-19 Task Force. Despite her extraordinary work, Moch has been harassed and received many threats. Shame on the people who treated her this way for simply trying to keep people alive and healthy.
- I'm happy to see 49 Afghan refugees will be coming to North Dakota. It’s the least we can do for these people, many of whom risked their lives to help Americans. Kudos to Gov. Doug Burgum for supporting this.
- It was wonderful to be at the ceremony where the former Woodrow Wilson High School in Fargo became Dakota High School. It was thrilling to see Native Americans so excited and proud of the new name.
Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV news director.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.