Ryan Sawyers really wants to climb the Left’s political ladder. The board chairman of the second largest school district, Prince William, in the Old Dominion is lustily and lustfully seeking a congressional seat in Virginia’s First District. He is fast becoming the newest darling of the Left and don’t think he doesn’t know what side of his bread is buttered. No extreme stops will be left unpulled for Mr. Sawyers.
Case in point. This same Sawyers has been trying with all his might to get boys into girls locker rooms under the guise of addressing the most recent cultural crisis of the day, transgender discrimination. The fact that there had been no complaints of such discrimination in the county schools didn’t stop our man Sawyers. After all this was a hot national topic and Sawyers is nothing if not an opportunist. He dragged the entire county through weeks of gut wrenching sturm und drang, only to be temporarily thwarted by many of the local citizenry who saw the madness for it what it was.
More recently, Sawyers pulled out his dog-eared Alinsky handbook again to drag Virginia’s historic past onto the witness stand. This time it was a one-man crusade to rename a Manassas landmark, Stonewall Jackson High School. Again, big national topic among the leftist intelligentsia but no actual organized demand for such a move had existed….until Sawyers unilaterally created one. Tens of thousands of SJHS Raiders have matriculated in those hallowed halls for 45 years with nary a thought that its name should be changed.
Which brings us to Monday, November 20, 2017. Chairman Sawyers, charged with providing the best public education possible to over 81,000 young Virginians, has now decided to make non-participation in the pledge of allegiance a top priority. In a grammatically challenged tweet around lunchtime, Sawyers released the following out into the digital ether:
Attention PWCS students and staff. Your are not required to stand for the national anthem or pledge. There will be no action taken against you for choosing to not stand or participate.
Our President is a bonafide idiot but you are safe in PWCS.
This latest example of “Loony Chairman acts out” came on the heels of President Trump digitally expressing his displeasure with another professional football player protesting whatever he’s protesting by refusing to honor America during the playing of the National Anthem.
Now, like many, you may find Donald Trump and his bombastic communication style repugnant. For my money, I’m not a fan of Trump’s incessant streaming of his consciousness at 4 am nor his lashing out wildly at any critic that pops onto his radar screen. Consequently I’m not terribly bothered when Trump is assailed with such vitriol because, well, “don’t dish it out if you can’t take it.” Trump is a big boy and he gives as good (if not better) than he gets.
But back to Sawyers. You hate Trump, Ryan? Terrific. Good for you. Should you have cast aspersions on Trump with the same type of social media baseball bat that he does? Well, let’s just say that if you’re trying to excoriate someone who is roundly criticized for mean-tweeting, using a mean-tweet to express your disdain might be ill advised.
But I get it. You live, eat, sleep, breathe, snort, ingest politics with an eye on the power and largesse it might one day bring you. And this is some rare, red meat for your “RESIST!” constituency. Damn the torpedoes and local consequences.
What really caught my attention though, was a county school board official de facto encouraging kids to show disrespect to the American flag. I mean let’s be honest…that’s exactly what Sawyers took it upon himself to do. Many will argue (and are arguing) that this was simply Sawyers protecting kids’ First Amendment rights. “No one should force another to pledge allegiance when they don’t want to!” That argument has no small amount of validity to it. But here again we find ourselves enmeshed in another Sawyersian Red Herring. No one had been forcing anyone to stand for the pledge of allegiance in Prince William County schools.
Oh and by the way?
THE STUDENT RULE BOOK ALREADY PROTECTS STUDENTS WHO DON’T WANT TO STAND FOR THE PLEDGE!
Prince William Regulation 052.01 states that standing for the Pledge of Allegiance is not compulsory. Any “individuals who, for religious or other deep personal convictions, do not choose to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance shall stand or sit quietly out of respect for the views of others and shall make no display that disrupts or distracts others who are reciting the Pledge.”
So, lo and behold, Sawyers has trolled the good gentry of Prince William County once again. No one was or could’ve been under threat of being forced to respect the flag yet Sawyers has managed to deftly kicked over another mound of fire ants.
Man this guy really wants that congressional promotion!
But let’s step away from Sawyer’s latest political rope-a-dope for moment. Yes it’s been established that school children can’t be forced to stand and honor the flag. For good or ill, that is where we find ourselves, whether we agree with it or not. But methinks we are sniffing up the wrong tree.
Here’s an idea! Now bear with me for a minute!
Why don’t we think about teaching our kids how beautiful and wonderful our country is. Imperfect but beautiful. That we owe allegiance to America and its flag not out of blind obedience but because some flawed-but-forward thinking men in powdered wigs enshrined God-given rights in a legal document…ensuring that no one, not even the government, could infringe upon them. And those ideas are the only way by which civilized men and women should live. And securing those rights for everyone is no easy task.
We could even tell them that America used to allow slavery and segregation but because of the AMAZING system that the Framers left us, Americans of good will were able to stop that craziness.
Maybe we could tell them about how everyone wants to come here and even America-haters don’t seem to want to leave.
“Why do you think that is, class? Maybe it’s because our Constitution offers us unparalleled freedoms that no nation in the history of earth has enjoyed. And maybe we should really, really be thinking about what that flag represents instead of using the disrespect of our unifying symbol as a political weapon.”
Maybe we could teach them how people LITERALLY risk their lives to get here. Because they live under dictatorships under which you’d be imprisoned for even having a discussion that questions the supremacy of the state or the authority of some local hack magistrate.
And maybe, just maybe, rather than whispering America-hate into young people’s ears like Wormtongue, we should be telling them about the sacrifice in blood that has been given so we can enjoy those freedoms.
Hey there, Chairman Sawyers!, Maybe you could try teaching a little history to the kids in your charge.
Like, maybe a recounting of a time when no one, black, white or purple, would have even conceived of giving our flag anything but the utmost respect because it’s bigger than politics. It transcends political arguments and party affiliation. Its ours. All of us.
And when you trash our flag you trash us all.
Many of us are on to you, Sawyers. Ginning up political crises to fuel your personal career trajectory? Sheesh. At long last, sir, have you no shame?