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Blue Valley already has one 1776-backed School Board member...how's that going?

Blue Valley can’t afford to elect *even more* 1776ers.


Jim McMullen was endorsed by the New York-based 1776 Project PAC when he ran for the Blue Valley School Board in 2021. (He tweeted their endorsement - apparently he was proud of it.) After winning his BoE seat, McMullen made headlines for publishing discriminatory tweets using his School Board Vice President title in his Twitter profile. He was then removed from his VP position by a Board vote, but still has 2 years left in his term. What else has the 1776-backed McMullen been up to?


In July, McMullen voted NO on the district’s innovative partnership with Children’s Mercy Hospital to provide vital Social Workers in our schools.


Student, family, and staff mental health and well-being is critically important to our kids’ academic achievement and success in life. Most parents with students in Blue Valley Schools know about the district’s ongoing commitment to combat student mental illness and suicide. Since 2017, Social Workers at every Blue Valley school have been an important component of the team that surrounds every student needing mental health support. According to Superintendent Dr. Tonya Merrigan’s recent address at the Blue Valley Educational Foundation Community Breakfast, the district’s efforts are making a difference. Student suicides have decreased from 6-7 yearly to *zero* in the past year. It’s hard to even think about a Blue Valley School Board member opposing Social Workers.


McMullen’s stated reasoning for voting against Social Workers was that “this doesn’t seem like the right place to spend $75,000 per school.” He referenced building needs assessments saying they still need more staff and smaller class sizes. No one disagrees with that - but those building needs assessments certainly did *not* recommend cutting a Social Worker to provide another staff member! (The Social Worker contract passed the Board in a 6-1 vote.)


Also in July, McMullen voted NO on a district technology contract that supports essential software - including safety and security measures like building entrance badges; printing within schools; virtual labs in high schools and CAPS; district cybersecurity; as well as device management.


McMullen explained his vote by saying he is concerned that our kids use too much technology. Despite explanations from the district Technology admin, other Board members, and Dr. Merrigan that the contract in question did NOT impact the number of devices for individual students’ use - his stated concern - McMullen stubbornly voted NO. After longtime Board member Tom Mitchell explained “our technology was a disaster 10-12 years ago,” and they discussed that prior to the district implementing one computer per-learner, there was “tons of inequity” and “havoc for support and cybersecurity,” McMullen still voted NO...on a contract that DOES NOT even provide the devices that he argues against. (The contract passed by a 6-1 vote.)


At that same meeting, McMullen also voted NO on a contract to provide hitting tunnels for high school baseball and softball teams. Hitting tunnels are an important resource for these teams, and provide a significant safety feature by preventing fly-away balls during practices and before-game warmups.


Why did McMullen vote against such standard equipment? Because he said he doesn’t like that Blue Valley approved converting baseball and softball fields to turf. Field playing surfaces have nothing to do with hitting tunnels. Apparently McMullen would penalize our high school athletes by voting against equipment they need, because he objects to an entirely unrelated decision. (The contract passed by a 6-1 vote.)


Notice that in the three examples above, these contracts passed by a 6-1 vote - because Blue Valley only has one obstructionist Board member who votes against our students and their schools to make a point. But what if the 1776ers had a Board MAJORITY? In other districts where 1776ers have taken over school boards, it has been a disaster. If the 1776 Project PAC had control of Blue Valley, we’d have no more Social Workers, district technology would be compromised, and our high school athletes would be practicing without important equipment. And that’s just McMullen’s votes from one meeting.


Your neighbors might think they like some of the 1776-backed candidates’ positions. Your friends might find the PAC’s patriotic-sounding name appealing. But be sure they know that the 1776-backed Board member we *already have* has used his position to vote against our kids’ mental health, district safety and security, and against important equipment for high school athletes - all to make a point.


Talk to your neighbors and friends about what’s at stake for our kids’ schools - as well as our property values and local economy. Spread the word that the parents and community volunteers of Stand Up Blue Valley endorse the experienced, non-partisan A+ Team of Patrick Hurley, Jodie Dietz, Jan Kessinger and Clay Norkey.


We certainly don’t need more Jim McMullens - or the 1776 Project PAC itself - making decisions for our kids. #StopTheTakeover





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