Pennsylvania School Board Member to Parents: ‘I Don’t Work for You’

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Getty Images/Djavan Rodriguez

A Pennsylvania school board member, ostensibly disgruntled because parents are showing up at board meetings to voice concerns about education issues, penned an op-ed Sunday in which he responded, “I don’t work for you.”

Richard Robinson, a member of the York Suburban School Board, appears to long for the days when “nobody showed up” to school board meetings.

The “public comments” period of these meetings, he noted at the York Dispatch, once gave residents “the chance to vent their spleens about exorbitant taxes or demand subjects be taught properly the way they were during the most frigid period of the Cold War.”

These days, however, Robinson complained, “school boards are now the new battleground in the fight for America’s future”:

Some members of my community appear to interpret this part of board meetings as the occasion to tell board members why they have the collective intelligence of a village idiot and how the school district ought to be addressing real problems. When the board does not fall in line with each and every demand, we are accused of ignoring the thoughtful, unbiased, sincere and righteous ultimatums of our community.

Robinson said he preferred to write not as a “member of a school board,” but, instead, as a “member of my community who serves on a school board.” He responded to the concept that he works for the taxpayers of his community with the statement:

No, I don’t work for you. I was elected by people who voted to represent you. It is not the same thing. You may also be surprised to learn every member of a school board is a taxpayer, too. I come from a long line of taxpaying men and women.

Presenting a list of grievances in his opinion column, Robinson criticized “doctors” who offer public comments during school board meetings, but neglect to provide their credentials; parents who threaten school boards with lawsuits; parent “bullies” who threaten to remove their children from school if mask mandates are not ended; and parents who claim they know what is best for their child.

Robinson disagrees with these parents, asserting, “Nevertheless, if you are offended because I don’t believe parents are infallible, you can always sue or take your child out of school. Your choice.”

Finally, Robinson states the “most offensive and vile” of all individuals who comment at board meetings are “the charlatans who claim health and safety measures are responsible for destroying the mental health of children simply to justify their own social agenda.”

“There are members of this community who tried to draw attention to the warning signs of increasing mental distress among our children long before you ever thought of mental health as a potential cudgel,” he sneered. “To listen to your repeated distortions of the facts is nauseating.”

“There is only one thing more to share with my fellow citizens who come out to say, ‘Be a trend setter, be a leader, be on the right side of history and do what I tell you to do!’” he wrote.

“No. I have watched live streams of board meetings numerous times and reviewed the written protests, repeatedly,” he said. “Your voice has been heard. As far as the right side of history is concerned — I like my odds.”

Nicole Nelly, president of Parents Defending Education, told Fox News Digital Robinson was mocking parents.

“Far too many elected officials have shown over the past two years that the ‘consent of the governed’ is little more than an inconvenient speed bump on the road to advancing their unpopular agendas,” she said. “Mocking and dismissing the concerns of the community may be cathartic for petty dictators, but it is not a path to electoral success.”

Robinson’s op-ed is written days after newly inaugurated Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) told his state’s General Assembly parents “have a fundamental right” to decide their child’s “upbringing, education, and care.”

“And we will protect and reassert that right,” the governor added.

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