The unprecedented move by the Democrats on the Guilford County Board of Education on Tuesday night, April 4 – when they blindsided everyone and named their handpicked candidate to the board’s vacant District 3 seat rather than teacher Michael Logan, who was selected by the Guilford County Republican Party – left many Republicans in the county outraged.
The six Democrats on the nine-member board voted to name Republican Bill Goebel to the board seat that represents District 3.
Going into the meeting that night, the board’s two Republican members – Linda Welborn and Crissy Pratt – both totally expected Logan to be named to fill the seat; so, they said, they were absolutely stunned when they realized at the meeting that the Democrats had a secret plan meant to undermine the intent of state law.
Both Welborn and Pratt say they were blindsided and disturbed by the audacity of the extraordinary move.
Even though the local Republican Party had chosen Logan to fill the vacant District 3 seat, and even though state legislators – led by District 59 state Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) – had passed a bill meant to prevent the school board from keeping Logan off, the school board went ahead anyway and voted. That happened after school board attorney Jill Wilson laid out a complex scheme at the meeting by which, Wilson claimed, the move could be legally defensible.
“I think it is horrible what they did,“ Welborn said the day following the school board meeting.
Welborn added that the move showed total disrespect for the people of District 3.
She and other Republican leaders said that, when the vacancy first opened up, Goebel had initially approached some party members to see if they would appoint him to the vacant seat on the school board – but those discussions didn’t go anywhere and the party decided on Logan instead.
Welborn said that, clearly, the six Democrats knew all about the plan but that they and Wilson didn’t tell the Republican school board members anything.
“We we’re kept totally in the dark,” she said.
Several Republican leaders said they were stunned that Goebel would accept the position under these circumstances.
Except for the small group plotting to make the end run around the intentions of the local Republican Party and the state legislature, everyone showed up at the meeting totally expecting Logan to be named to the seat and sworn in. However, a few slides into a presentation by Wilson, it became clear what was going on.
Pratt was equally as outspoken.
“It was an atrocity,” she said.
“It was so despicable.”
Like Welborn, Pratt was kept in the dark as the Democrats hatched the plot.
“I was completely blindsided,” she said.
Pratt said the main reason she ran for a seat on the Board of Education was to support the kids and teachers and staff and to improve education in the county. Now, she said, she’s incredibly disturbed by the way the Democrats on the board have completely politicized the school board rather than pursue its fundamental mission of making schools better.
Pratt said the Democrats on the board talk a lot about supporting teachers but then, she added, they turn around and show complete and utter disrespect for Logan – a 26-year teacher in the system.