In the recent conflagration over a Chick-fil-A fundraiser in Randolph, the Orange Southwest School District Superintendent Layne Millington (who is paid some $200,000 annually including benefits) has decided to single-handedly wage war against our nation’s First Amendment. He has already lost. Imposing rules where liberal views are celebrated while conservative messages are stifled, Millington ironically proclaims he is making everything equal. It may take a lawsuit for him to learn just how completely wrong he is, but the rest of the nation can see clearly.
Supintendent Millington canceled a baseball team fundraiser solely because it elected to raise funds with the out-of-state fast-food franchise, on the basis that Chick-fil-A didn’t support gay marriage. Gay marriage is legal, but like abortion, not all Americans agree it is moral — but Millington insists all students must comply. Millington faults a corporate entity for a moral transgression, then attacks parents and students vicariously. How far will this moral tracing go?
Parents were understandably outraged, but Millington has stood firm. Trying to manipulate parents, he scheduled a special informational meeting on the subject, and was then incensed when parents declined to attend and instead voice their views at a public school board meeting — exactly what Millington was trying to prevent. Parents instead chose to share their complaint with ears that might listen, so they attended the school board meeting and expressed their disgust.
Mr. Millington foolishly decided to double down on his boldly illegal move. Invoking a school policy requiring that the administration “treat all with respect,” he indignantly proclaimed (at 45:50):
The self-righteousness is deafening. The effort to displace the U.S. Constitution with this platitude is indeed a false equivalency — the Constitution does not bow for such shoddy, illogical efforts. Mr. Millington has apparently lost his understanding of words and facts. He is labeling a company’s past free speech as “an act to try to take away rights” — no, it was just an alternate opinion, speech he seeks to stifle. The great irony is that Layne Millington actually is acting in a way to deprive others of “shared rights” — he isn’t just talking about it, he has done so. Unlike a distant-past corporate speech offense, this is a present government actionby a government actor, stifling freedom of speech!
Government officials incapable of comprehending their basic constitutional obligations are unfit to govern. After the school board meeting, Millington set off again to bully and manipulate parents and the community into cowed submission to his new totalitarianism, organizing another informal “meeting” for May 4. In his call to address this problem, he again projects fault onto the community and parents, displacing responsibility for the angst and division he and his dogma have seeded. On the Orangesouthwest.org website, in an April 15 letter to the community, he writes:
I have had a chance to finally get a few moments to talk with some good people and to reflect on the divisiveness that has been growing in our community and affecting our schools. Schools are reflections of their communities, if there is divisiveness in our schools, it is because it exists in our communities and to a lesser extent the world at large. The staff and administration have been spending an ever-increasing amount of time in school trying to stem this tide which had made it painfully obvious that unless we address the sources that exist outside our walls, we will never have peace within our walls.
This is nonsense: conservative Vermont parents are “good people.” Flying the BLM flag and policing students from wearing conservative messaging on their clothes (such as “There are only two genders,” “I love Chick-fil-A,” or “Let’s Go Brandon”) while permitting free speech to liberal views, is what has seeded this conflict. Millington has broken all the rules to advance his personal new religion, and now blames the hate and division he and others have seeded on the parents.
Until the U.S. Constitution is reestablished as the law of Randolph Union High School, there will be increasing rancor. This is the direct result of racist “theories” and gender experimentation “theories” that condition children to embrace only one moral compass.
But Superintendent Millington purports to seek comity:
On May 4th at 7:15 PM in the RUHS auditorium, I will run a community forum in the hopes of drawing in perspectives from across the community to share ideas on how we can make the district a better place for all who work, attend, and serve here. This cannot devolve into a gripe or blame session; it must be a simple recognition of our current state and a forum to generate the agreements we need to make to one another to heal and to improve our community and our schools. … I am still working out the details, but the forum will start with a short video clip that I hope will inspire our work followed by a short presentation on where I believe we currently stand and then a guided discussion on possible solutions that would be developed into an agreement, a memorandum of understanding between one another in terms of what we must all do to improve the culture and climate of not only our schools, but hopefully the community as a whole. This can only work if all perspectives are present and if our communications with one another are respectful and forward looking.
Will Herr Millington “guide the discussion” toward constitutional requisites, and identify where they have been violated by the school administration? Doubtful. He has already unilaterally rejected that “memorandum of understanding” and apparently seeks to reinvent that wheel. What is happening is that the school has seeded conflict and division with experimental theories it had no authority to implement, those toxic failures have now harmed children and the community with their obvious toxicity, and the bureaucrats are trying to shift blame onto their victims for the consequences. That cycle will repeat until the displaced Constitution is reaffirmed — there is no other path forward.
As one writer has aptly observed, “There is no possibility of progress without a return to the permanent principles of the Founding.” Superintendent Millington must take down the BLM flag and reinstall the United States Constitution he has so negligently and ignorantly undermined. He must learn what for most schoolchildren is axiomatic: “Freedom to speak openly means that we will sometimes hear what we disagree with. A free society isn’t always comfortable. But history shows that it’s worth it.”
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