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Persistence

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Guess who's still talking about critical race theory (CRT)?

Oh wait, it's me! But I'm only talking about it because the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District will not drop it. As the only sane trustee on the school board put it: The California Board of Education says that CRT is not taught in K-12, and it's not even posed as curriculum at the state level or in Paso schools.

Paso Robles parents apparently don't understand that. The district received two handfuls of emails calling for an outright ban on teaching CRT before the July 13 school board meeting. And yes, they included concerns parents had about their students feeling bad for being white. Just so everyone knows: CRT is literally only an issue in Paso because school board President Chris Arend made it an issue.

As an aside, one public commenter at the meeting, mom Heidi Holliday, was extremely upset about something she couldn't quite articulate that had to do with lost freedoms. She then called on the district to install video cameras in classrooms to watch the teachers and students! Let freedom ring!

Board trustee Nathan Williams was scratching his head about why exactly the district wanted to have a study session or town hall on the issue so people could give their opinions about something that isn't really an issue.

"This is not a wise use of our time," he said during the July 13 school board meeting.

Here, here!

It's a complete waste of time, especially because self-proclaimed CRT expert Arend thinks that "most people don't know what they're talking about when they talk about critical race theory."

Oh wait? Is that because it isn't taught in publicly funded schools and "most people" are only armed with a public education. This from the guy who's been "studying it intensely," yet he still wants to prevent it from being taught in the public school district he represents and wants a town hall so he can hear opinions from a bunch of people who "don't know what they're talking about."

I'm so confused as to why we are still talking about this.

Meanwhile, one of the most important things the board is working on right now is being completely ignored by the public. The district is transitioning from at-large school board elections to by-trustee area elections. Paso is drawing trustee area lines as I write this, and nobody in Paso seems to care.

I guess CRT, the nonissue that nobody understands, is much sexier than an actual issue, such as which Paso residents trustee Arend will have to eventually represent. Boring!

Trump for Paso Robles Joint Union School District 2022.

And who will be running the 2022 elections in SLO County, you ask?

Well, I don't know, exactly, and neither (apparently) does anyone on the SLO County Board of Supervisors. All the three conservative members of the board know is that the Deputy Clerk-Recorder Helen Nolan, who is currently the county's acting clerk-recorder, shouldn't get it by default. As 4th District Supervisor Lynn Compton said, she doesn't even know her. Can she even type?

Yeah, I guess if you don't know somebody who works on the bottom floor of your building, you might as well open the application process up to the whole state!

"Everyone's welcome to apply," 5th District Supervisor Debbie Arnold said at the board's July 13 meeting.

And they're welcome to have no experience, too! The conservatives didn't want the qualifications for the position to be set any higher than they would be for a candidate running to become the next county clerk-recorder. So minimum qualifications!

Whoop! I'm thinking of applying. Do you think they'll hold my office appliance status against me?

The funny thing is, if you're running for office in SLO County, you have to actually be a resident of SLO County—but the three supervisors who are obviously in charge of this place can appoint whoever they want to fill the office!

"The five of us are capable of choosing someone to do a good job in that office," Arnold said, obviously meaning that 2nd District Supervisor Bruce Gibson and 3rd District Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg only have a say in the matter if they agree with their conservative cohorts.

Because let's face it: Their votes only count if a surprise happens.

Such as the weird vote they took about vacation rentals in Avila Beach. Compton agreed with them: This development in Avila Beach shouldn't be allowed to build something that could eventually become a vacation rental. Because vacation rentals ruin neighborhoods, you know?

But, the county already has an ordinance in place limiting the number of vacation rentals allowed in Avila Beach—which, surprise, surprise, the beachside berg is maxed out. All the development wanted was to be held to the same standards as every other property owner in Avila. It just wanted the units it builds to have the ability to apply to become vacation rentals in the future.

Sounds reasonable to me. But I guess that's where Compton drew the conservative property rights line.

At least one person during public comment on the issue took the matter to the next level. This libertarian said he should be able to do what he wants with his private property. And those property rights extended to his body!

Abortion rights activist in disguise? Or was he just a vaxtavist? Mysterious. Δ

The Shredder loves a good mystery. Send words to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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