In the face of a global pandemic our community has confronted unprecedented challenges. For our schools, those challenges seemed nearly insurmountable. The Fargo School Board, in consultation with medical providers, public health leaders, teachers and parents, made difficult decisions to get our students back to in-person learning as swiftly as possible. Mask-use was the cornerstone in the fight to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Now more than ever, our students and teachers need stability and support. Instead, a vocal minority is seeking to upend the Fargo School Board. They launched an effort to recall not one, not two but four members of the School Board.
This group’s rationale? “Not listening to the community.” There has never been a more vague reason to completely upend the Fargo School Board for doing exactly what the board members were elected to do, make difficult and complex decisions. Recalls are never intended to be do-over elections. They should be reserved to demand the removal of an elected leader for a specific egregious behavior, not for messy, personal motivations.
Here is the real irony: if the recall effort is successful it is our students who will pay the price. Special elections are expensive and taxpayers always foot the bill. In this case, the Fargo School District will need to shell out tens of thousands of dollars to hold an unnecessary and wasteful special election. These are dollars that would otherwise be used for student success.
The voters should decide these issues, not a minority of voters, in the next regular election. The projected timeline for this recall election would be just six months ahead of our standard school board election, coming up in June 2022. Their timing is hapless, irresponsible and unnecessary.
This recall effort is misled and disruptive, and does nothing to help our schools, our students, or our teachers. Reject the recall effort and pledge to ‘Decline to Sign’ the recall petition.
Amy Jacobson is executive director of Prairie Action.
This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.