By John Rajcic
This editorial is a long way to thank those who voted for me in the last school board election and congratulate those who won.
Everyone speaks of the importance of education, but nothing of significance happens. I would argue that through an excellent educational system we will reduce poverty and maintain a strong nation.
At the grass roots level where education happens in our great republic, do we really value education? Too many educators and students can hardly wait until the bell rings so they can get out of school and do things deemed more important. Where does a strong military lead a nation that belittles intelligence and prefers to have a beer with Joe Six-Pack.
Hitler drove away or killed many of the brightest people in Europe and as a result you had a decadent nation that lived in fear even though on the onset Germany was taking over the world. This is true of all civilizations since the beginning of time.
The Preamble to our Constitution, the world’s oldest living constitution, in part states, “We the People, in order to form a more perfect union, provide for the common defense...” After reading this part of the Preamble, many immediately think of the military. This was not the sole intent of our founding fathers.
Our founding father’s principally valued an educated populace. They felt that a representative government could only work if we the people were educated. Thomas Jefferson said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be.”
I can tell you from experience our graduates of the top Army school, the Army War College, think beyond the military industrial complex and value the educational level of a nation.
Therein lies the strength of our Republic. Our founding fathers knew that through education we could achieve a common purpose. The founding fathers of this great nation were also our first great scholars. Our Constitution is the fruit of centuries of man’s ideas and experiences — ideas from many philosophers, lawyers, writers — John Locke, Sir Edward Coke, Montesquieu, Sir William Blackstone and scores of others —from which our founding fathers derived notions of common law, limited government, religious tolerance, consent of governed, separation of powers, rotation in office and a written constitution.
May 28, 1787, at the Constitutional Convention, George Washington was elected chairman and said, “let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair.” Our wise and educated founding fathers did just that, e.g, the Constitution of the United States of America.
Our schools are more than a place to train future employees. They are a place where democratic citizenship is taught and a place that binds children from vastly different backgrounds together to teach them what it means to be an American.
After this national election, many of my neighbors despair. They should not, for America is a unique country that has a rich and complex past. Schools must tell a story of America that will enable students to have national pride.
America is an idea, a work in progress. Further, the Good Book says, “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom and the man that getteth understanding.”
Some see the school board as a steppingstone. Others cling to the board as their children are in school and other voters see it as popularity contest.
Other than the importance of the family, I see the work of the school board important in creating excellent learning environments were children can succeed. My wife Connie says, “strong views are not the best way to curry favor.” This in part may be one of my shortcomings as I sought a seat on the board.
Integrity has always been paramount to me. I think I will give the voters another chance to get it right. I kept my campaign signs.
We all must work to stamp out ignorance. I am a poor loser, but a gracious one.
John Rajcic, a Ramona resident, was a candidate for a Ramona Unified School District Board seat in the Nov. 4 election.