Mike Kelly is a Rubber Stamp

And so is the rest of the Monongalia County School Board.

MARK TWAIN TELLS IT LIKE IT IS

My name is Mark Twain. You might remember me. I wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and a little ditty called The War Prayer.

I died some time ago but am back for a moment to endorse today’s Dominion Post editorial, “School board’s stars in alignment,” which calls for the Monongalia County Board of Education to return ex-board member Mike Kelly to the School Board, filling by appointment the vacant seat.

This is truly a brilliant suggestion, because Mike Kelly is a rubber stamp, and so is everyone else on the school board. And we all know and love what school boards are for, don’t we? School boards are meant to rubber stamp the divine leadership of any superintendent of a school district in thrall to high dropout rates, large class sizes, large schools, remote schools, and an ever decreasing number of schools. Who would not want to rubber stamp that potent brew? Not Mike Kelly! Not the entire school board!

With Mike Kelly restored to the seat that he was recently so unreasonably voted out of, the School Board can once again return to rubber stamping in total unison, like some great totalitarian entity straight from the Soviet era of elected tyranny.

Then we will know that all is right with the world once again in Monongalia County.

Let us all rejoice that order may soon be restored to the School Board, on the School Board, for the School Board, by the School Board, of the School Board, so that nothing may change ever in the direction of our schools, except that they grow bigger, get more remote, become less numerous, and become even more willfully blinkered by design and narrowly standardized than ever before! Let it be! Let the stars further align!

I, Mark Twain, rise from the dead, to hereby endorse the call of the Dominion Post to restore Mike Kelly to the school board upon which he may sit and mightily rubber stamp with the rest.

Kind and considerate readers may wonder why I do not stay dead already. Well, let me tell you: the afterlife is not all it is cracked up to be. Oh, sure, I can chew my cigar all I wish without fear of cancer because I am already dead, but other than that the afterlife is no great shakes. In fact, the afterlife is death. It is not really anything I care to rubber stamp.

Besides, for that job, we have Mike Kelly and the rest. Just ask the Dominion Post. They know the real stakes. The DP like the School Board has always known, even without thinking! And for that I salute them. I salute them like the old man in The War Prayer saluted the great leaders of that land…not so distant.

Of course the great leaders judged the outspoken fellow a lunatic. But then, there is no accounting for taste.

Come what may – elections, abdications, appointments followed by elections again – there is clearly none of that. Taste, I mean. Not where the school board is involved.

Too bad for the children, too. Because, unlike the wild boy Huck, the Monongalia County schoolchildren cannot “light out for the territory” but are forced to be “sivilized” by the School Board and Mon County Schools in whatever consolidated and overstuffed school, with overcrowded rooms, they happen to find themselves flung.

There the kids get rubber stamped and editorialized, “sivilized” and standardized, until, for many, the dream of “lighting out for the territory” becomes the reality of dropping out for the lousy job market.

Maybe “fleeing out” would be the more accurate term. The school should start keeping statistics on “fleeing out.” Thus the malady could be even better diagnosed and codified as disease. Can Mylan Inc. not concoct better curative pharmaceuticals to administer to all the youth who flee out or wish to flee out of the schools? Surely the School Board, cheered on by the Dominion Post, would rubber stamp it.

Or maybe that’s the lunatic speaking, and not me.

And maybe the stars are not quite as aligned as the DP and the School Board and the Mon Schools administration would like to think. Assuming of course that they ever would.

Hell, it’s so much easier – and more fun? – to rubber stamp.

Stamp on!

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