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CEO: A Grownup Tantrum Sets a Bad Example for Kids

Oct 5, 2021, 10:26 AM by Chris Coker

There seems to be a new behavior in America when we disagree with others’ decisions. We either impeach or we recall. Even when we know there is no chance of either option working, we still WASTE significant dollars and time on these useless efforts. I don’t deny that sometimes we need to send a message, but there is a better way.   

I am particularly upset about the recall vote for Boulder Valley School District Board of Education. Sometimes I am a fan of the Board of Education and sometimes not. However, they were duly elected, and this recall comes during an election cycle. 

No talk about running for office. No recall last year. Months before the election. 

BVSD reports that a recall will cost in excess of $600,000. Now I am sure that they threw everything they could into that figure. However, what if we take away $200,000 from that, and it is really closer $400K? How many teachers and paras, and art programs does that represent? That is OUR money that we wanted to go toward education and youth development.

Blonde woman with angry face and clinched fists stands in front of chalk board

What are we role modeling for our kids with these recalls locally and nationally?  

Here are my personal thoughts on this. We have a process that involves representation, running for office, advocating, discussion and so on. Not foot stomping when we disagree. If you don’t like what was said or decisions that were made, then run for office or get one of your friends to run. Or meet the candidates, see if they agree with your point of view and then create a coalition to get them elected. Campaign for them.

Little boys with vote sign and American flags smile at camera

Whatever you do, take a moment to think about whether or not you have the implicit right to take resources from children because you disagree and you are clearly in the minority? The answer to this is, Yes, you absolutely do. But should you?  

This is where the conversations with your kids should occur. We all have rights — but the judicious use of those rights is the key point.

For those of you who have not followed the news stories or social media posts, this recall is about the school board’s response to COVID-19. I believe they did the best they could based on what was established information at the time. The thing about science is that it evolves, and as more data comes in, the science is updated. Knowledge is not stagnant.

Should we waste our time on the recall of our BVSD board when they were following the established science and their actions reflected what the majority of people in the community wanted at the time? Government and bureaucracy will never, ever, ever be fair to the individual; they can only strive for equity. When that fails, they must work toward equality. The stark reality is that not everyone can get their way all the time. 

Think about your family. 

If you have multiple kids, there are times when you as a parent have to make a decision for the group, and all your kids need to go along with it, even if one or more of them disagree. They will get their way or their turn next time. They have to take turns, and when they throw a temper tantrum about it, they get a penalty (or should get a penalty). If they don't, you raise a kid who can’t share or play well with others. That will negatively affect them their entire lives. 

Little girl with pigtails and grumpy face

I do think that there is a time and place for recalls: when there is criminal behavior. That is not the case here with our BVSD board. They didn’t share the same point of view with those who want the recall. That is simply a difference of opinion — not criminal or negligent. Just different. If we all shared the same opinion, the world would be very different, decidedly easier but probably not good.

If you want change, I encourage you to vote, run or advocate, and if you lose, then you lost fair and square. To not follow the agreed upon rules creates chaos, and that is a road we need to veer away from.

Did we learn nothing from January 6, 2021? 

So here is what I am asking, don’t sign any petitions for recall. Instead, shut that movement down. And talk to your kids about getting involved and how you actually create policy and procedural change within the established system.

YMCA CEO Chris CokerChris Coker
CEO/President
YMCA of Northern Colorado

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