It’s election season here in Miami and that means it’s time for stupid posturing with taxpayer money. Today’s installment is brought to you by the School Board, which voted to waste a lot of money appealing a case it has no hope of winning:
Continuing its efforts to remove a controversial children’s book, the Miami-Dade School Board voted this afternoon to appeal a federal judge’s ruling that forced the district to keep Vamos a Cuba and 23 other titles on school library shelves.
In a 5-2 decision, with two members absent, the board said it wanted to protect the right of the district to determine the content of school libraries, rather than leave it up to a judge.
”Do we have a right to protect our children?” said board member Frank Bolaños, who joined Agustín Barrera, Perla Tabares Hantman, Ana Rivas Logan and Marta Pérez in voting for the appeal. “I think we have the right and responsibility to do that.”
The debate has become a passionate cause for some Cuban exiles, who have cited errors in the book and believe it omits so much about life’s hardships under Castro as to render it inaccurate and misleading.
The issue intensified during the spring as two review committee and Superintendent Rudy Crew said the book should stay on shelves, only to be overruled by the School Board in a politically charged 6-3 vote.
The debate inspired attorney Manny Anon to challenge Barrera in next month’s elections and has a been a powerful political undercurrent in outgoing Bolaños’ Republican-primary challenge to incumbent state Sen. Alex Villalobos.
That last bit, buried as it is in the Herald’s article, strikes me as the real key to the whole sordid affair: like so many local pols before him, Bolaños is playing the Castro card to get elected to something.
Of course, given current events, this may the last ride for that particular hobbyhorse. As it is, the whole show ws starting to wear thin — this time the relevant parents’ committees and the school bureaucrats both stood up against book banning. Only the craven School Board took a dive. Around here, that’s actually progress.