Why I Can’t Just ‘Scroll On By’


This year’s Los Alamos School Board Election is more contested and partisan than I have ever seen it.  Candidates have diametrically opposed views on everything from COVID to which students are most vulnerable in our schools.

Lately, I’ve noticed an alarming trend.  Conversations around important topics have been increasingly shut down.  Instead of engaging in challenging conversations, we’re supposed to accept that others see the world through a different lens and simply have a difference of opinion, even when those opinions cause harm.

We’ve been told that teaching accurate history (not CRT!) makes white kids feel bad about themselves, while simultaneously giving students of color an excuse to perform poorly.  We’ve been accused of identity politics and told to only worry about the issues affecting “all” students and to keep lessons of morality at home.

We’ve asked candidates to take a public stance on important issues, like support for LGBTQ+ students and their safety in our schools. In response, we’ve been accused of bullying or told to “scroll on by” if we don’t like a candidate.

I can’t.  I can’t see candidates repeatedly mock, belittle, or spew hate at vulnerable people in our community and “scroll on by” when those candidates choose to run for public office. I can’t see candidates blow racist dog whistles and not say something.  This matters.  This isn’t about policy or differences of opinion.  This is about whether or not some kids are considered worthy of love and protection.  I can no more allow this to happen than I can walk by a child being cornered on the playground.  Our children matter.  All of them.  They are watching and learning from the battles we are or are not willing to fight.  I won’t stand idly by while we allow hate to take over our schools.

Lisabeth Lueninghoener