So, a pastor, a professor, and another pastor walk into a school board meeting… stop me if you’ve heard this one already. It’s the joke that ends with our intrepid trio in handcuffs and the former school board chairman claiming his safety was “threatened”. Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up.
Yes, our old friend Ron Margiotta, the erstwhile chair of the Wake County School Board, decided to break his post-election loss silence this weekend with a letter to the editor in the New & Observer, pushing for a strong punishment for the protestors who disrupted a school board meeting back in the spring. In a bizarrely emotional letter, Margiotta said, “The actions of Barber, Tyson, Petty and the others were not simple acts of civil disobedience or disruption.” Funny he should say that, because that’s exactly what they were. He goes on to claim:
The safety of the Board as well as those in the audience was threatened. The extreme and intimidating tactics of Rev. Barber and his cohorts deliberately created chaos and fear. Behavior of this magnitude is unacceptable in any public meeting.
I have had the personal privilege of meeting all of the offending parties named here (remember, two ministers and a professor) and I can assure you, none of these folks are remotely intimidating. Why Mr. Margiotta was so intensely frightened is a mystery to me, as I recall him hiding behind two police officers during the entire episode.
It is possible that Mr. Margiotta was genuinely threatened, but it is more likely that he is reverting to the childish emotion that my mother refers to as "sore looser syndrome". It should be clear to the former chair of the school board the difference between being childish and helping children, but perhaps that was his whole problem in the first place.