Larry Lee, Alabama journalist and blogger, tells what happened in Washington County, Alabama, when people got fed up with being pushed around and decided to protect their public schools. 

People are chartering buses to attend the state education board on Thursday to express their opposition to the charter.

Alabama has a Republican supermajority in the Legislature, and that supermajority does whatever it wants. Whichever party has a supermajority, it’s not good for democracy, because people feel helpless.

What has happened to public education since 2010?

A-F school report cards that are basically worthless–except to those who want to bash public schools.  The Alabama Accountability Act which continues to divert millions from the Education Trust Fund.  The charter school law that, as we see in Washington County, makes a mockery of transparency and truthfulness.

None of these have been in the best interest of public schools.  Yet, try to get someone to take a stand and push back and nine times out of ten all you get is a shrug.  Are another superintendent saying, “Well, you know my board wants me to keep a low profile.”

This was until Washington County and a small group of dedicated educators and parents agreed that they were going to stand firm for what they believe is right for their school system and its students.

Thank God they have.

Because in so doing, they have shown us all that David can go into battle with Goliath.  They have set an example.  One that says only a handful of tenacious folks can get the attention of a great big bunch of folks.  Even The Washington Post.

You do it by keeping on keeping on.  By not giving up.  By doing your due diligence and hours and hours of homework.  They refused to knuckle under when the state charter school commission refused to be forthright and share info that belongs to the public.  They have had the backbone and courage to challenge people they know are being disingenuous and trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

They have shown us that you can fight city hall.  That just because someone is housed at the state department of education and have fancy titles doesn’t mean they can run over local school systems.

Yes, a handful of good people in Washington County have shown all of Alabama what is possible when you are convicted.

And all of Alabama owes them a standing ovation for doing so.

Now let’s see whether the state school board listens.