You're an idiot and must stop talking - so why can't we just get along?
Maybe we just aren't a "community" anymore
In this post:
A thought experiment - splitting up Scottsdale Unified School District
You’re an idiot and must stop talking - so why can’t we just get along?
Maybe we just aren’t a community anymore
1/ Thought Experiment: Splitting up Scottsdale Unified School District
Yesterday I posted a Twitter poll showing a proposed hypothetical new school district which, for fun, I have named Yavapai Unified School District (YUSD) - after the indigenous tribe that inhabited the McDowell Mountains area - which are sacred to the Yavapai, but for me just form a key geographical feature and boundary for a Thought Experiment: imagine a fresh, new school district formed by consolidating parts of the Scottsdale and Paradise Valley Unified School Districts.
There are legal processes that enable subdivision and consolidation - which I may explore in a later Stack, but honestly, I’m just not that interested. My kids will graduate - or withdraw - soon and move on. And so will my interest in school board matters.
Eventually, a split or consolidation will have to be considered. The population growth in North Scottsdale continues and either SUSD will become an unwieldy Texas-sized MEGA district, or it must split up. There is more than enough tax base in Paradise Valley / Arcadia / South Scottsdale to support its own school district: each of the new districts would have three high schools - SUSD keeps Arcadia, Coronado, and Saguaro, while YUSD gets Desert Mountain, Chaparral and picks up PVUSD’s Horizon High School.
For a corporate lawyer like me, it’s really just a corporate reorganization - like a triangular reverse merger, only with school districts. Don’t listen to anyone that tells you schools are different - mergers and acquisitions happen all the time for all sorts of reasons. Scottsdale is in a period of growth and faces important decisions to address that growth. Control your future or it will control you. That is what civic leaders are supposed to do. (Rhyme unintended, but I’ll keep it).
The consolidation makes sense geographically - and the statutes, as I understand them, enable consolidation only as between two border-sharing, adjacent districts.
So, the poll yesterday was obviously tongue-in-check word play, maybe even snark, to express a singular idea - it may be time to stop trying to get along and just go our separate ways:
And that’s when I was reminded that some people lack basic self-reflection - and frankly good manners, and maybe we are at irreparable levels of mistrust, disunity, and quite frankly, un-community. Maybe it is time to talk separation.
2/ You’re an idiot and must stop talking - so why can’t we just get along?
This commentator is not my Twitter follower - but he lurks my posts and chimes in from time to time, usually in the form of a “quote” retweet, presumably for his own followers. Yet he usually frames his comment as a question to me. Sometimes I goad him by responding flippantly, not because I have any ill will - I actually suspect he’s quite affable, he means well, and he cares about school matters. I also suspect that we share more common goals that he realizes. We just have a different set of assumptions about human nature, pedagogy and the role of the state, among others.
But he doesn’t realize. They never do.
For him I am a “purveyor” of idiocy creating division in the “community” - and he insists I am the one that must stop talking. It means only his voice would matter. Only his position would be expressed in the public square. And only his vision would be implemented in policy. It means, for him, that I am the one causing division - not this battle in the marketplace of ideas.
Because for large segments of our society, a difference in opinion is equivalent to some great moral failing on your part. It is not enough to politely disagree and engage with ideas - no, for them, every position, every idea, every policy and proposal is a religious edit. And if you don’t comply, if you don’t genuflect and just stop talking, you are a heretic, a pagan, a heathen. And you must be shamed, shunned and canceled.
For such people, I have nothing in common - the very root basis for community. We share a language, corporeal space and historical timeline. But we are not, as we say in the Catholic Church, in communion with each other any longer.
My Thought Experiment is probably just a metaphor - the subdivision and consolidation of a school district won’t bring peace in my life. It won’t bring peace to the people of Scottsdale.
Because at the core of it - we are just not a community anymore. It’s time to talk separation.