Cathy Reilly Mug

Cathy Reilly, Assistant to the Publisher

In case you aren’t aware, Election Day is Tuesday. And though it isn’t the midterms or a presidential election, it is still damn important that we get out and vote. It isn’t too late — you can still drop your ballot in one of the many boxes around the city. We can even help you locate one!  

One of the things generating the most noise this cycle is school boards. And if you don’t think those are important, remember that elections have consequences.

The uproar is centered on mask mandates and critical race theory. The former is much ado about nothing as children are very adaptable and can easily learn to wear masks. Yes, I am aware that there is an investigation going on in a local school district over accusations that a child or children had masks taped to their faces by a staff member or members. Before we go a-protestin’, let’s see how that investigation plays out, shall we?

As for the hullabaloo about CRT — it’s a nonstarter. Real CRT is a college-level concept and not even taught in primary and secondary schools. And it’s been around for more than 40 years! Why all of the hysterics now? 

There are some very plausible possibilities — one centers on a prominent cable media outlet whipping up controversy about it in the last several months. A certain Russian dictator is also no doubt laughing at the continuing political polarization in the United States. Nonetheless, I find it very telling that there are people who are so very threatened by the idea of children learning about the impacts of racism in our country, past AND present. 

While I no longer have school-aged children, I am still a taxpayer who financially supports a large school district, thus I have a stake in public education. Our children’s future will impact our future.

So instead of the self-righteous indignation about masks and CRT, how about we address some issues of actual importance: Falling national test scores of American students — and not just since COVID; Colorado’s funding of public education — one of the lowest levels in the country. 

Why aren’t we up in arms over these?

I have no doubt — when history is written of this period, it won’t be kind. And what will the children of today think then? 

Will we squander the opportunities to help them grow and achieve their fullest potentials? It is the duty of every voting adult to ensure that isn’t the case.

— Staff notes originally run in our daily email newsletter, Indy Now, along with news updates, photos of the day, a weekly poll and more. Sign up below.