At a May 4 meeting that Orange Southwest School District Superintendent Layne Millington advertised as “drawing in perspectives from across the community to share ideas,” Mr. Millington unwittingly revealed why there’s so much conflict in Vermont schools, and why there will continue to be until basic constitutional liberties are restored. Millington has repeatedly breached basic constitutional law and boasts about it, then labels parents and “problems in the community” for the division and resentment his violations cause.
It was always an illegal violation by government authorities to display the overtly partisan BLM flag at schools or government buildings. This is basic free speech law — which is why almost no schools nationally did this. It is not OK for government schools to embrace the overtly partisan organization of one political party over another, especially with an ideology that seeks to undermine free speech and other freedoms. All government authority is bound by this law, especially schools.
The United States Supreme Court ruled 9-0 on May 2 that the city of Boston could not exclude a Christian flag in preference to others, clarifying for everyone the inappropriate conduct of Randolph Union High School and Mr. Millington. Superintendent Millington conceded on May 4 that the school cannot favor one group over another, then boasted that they knew this in Randolph and displayed the BLM flag anyway because most citizens didn’t know — until this 9-0 Supreme Court case.
This astounding admission is followed by defensive allegations that students and teachers who objected to what they knew was a legal transgression (the display of the flag of Democrats’ ideological movement) proved they were racists by opposing it! This is classic social justice theory — you are a racist if you are white, and if you disagree that only proves you are a racist. Layne Millington keeps doubling down on this fallacious reasoning. He claims that these problems are seeded by a small group of evil parents, and he is psychologically trained to rescue the community. He proclaimed:
To understand why things are this way, we must frame the problem so that we can understand it, dissect it, and hopefully respond effectively to it. Most of us have had enough psychology to recognize that when folks are filled with strong emotions like hate and fear, they are unable to think rationally. … The stronger the emotion, the less rational we become.
Displaying a simple chart, Mr. Millington proceeds:
This chart sets up a diagram to show conflict that arises when groups of people share very strongly different beliefs. On the left you have beliefs of one extreme. On the right you have beliefs of the other extreme.
Millington’s “framing” is biased. Randolph only has one extreme — his. The “left extreme” is BLM, CRT and an untested theoretical ideology based on racism and hate: on the “extreme right,” in his view, is the United States Constitution and Martin Luther King, Jr. Who shifted the agreed middle — America’s constitutional law and heritage — to the “extreme right”? The answer is clear: the superintendent paid to abide by the middle, but who knowingly violated the law and agitated the community by flying the BLM flag at our school.
But now Layne Millington seeks to frame everything as if he is the religious savior of a community in conflict, unwilling to see that it is his extremist ideology that is the source of this division and conflict. He “frames” his “discussion meeting” to point blame at the parents who expect the Constitution to be protected:
Schools are merely reflections of their communities. If there are climate issues in OSSD it is because those issues exist in Brookfield, Braintree and Randolph. Right now, our schools can’t move forward despite marshaling significant resources to combat the behaviors we see that get in the way of learning. We brought in mental health staff, we’ve increased counseling services, we’ve hired behavior interventionists, we provided training for the faculty and created student programming which should’ve mitigated our climate issues, yet they remain. At last month’s board meeting, it all became really clear.
This last remark is an allusion to a meeting where parents (and I) raised objections to Mr. Millington’s pattern of illegal speech discrimination. He now seeks to “frame” us as the evil ones: maybe it is his strong ideological emotions that blind him. The problems in the schools have been caused by this nasty ideology that is patently illegal and incompatible with constitutional law. To the extent that there is racism in communities, Millington is publicly proving that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men — all his expensive therapists and indoctrinators — are only seeding agitation and conflict; they have healed nothing and are inflicting new wounds every time they attack the community they have betrayed, increasingly undermining core teaching. As he gaslights and slanders, Millington wants the communities of Brookfield, Randolph and Braintree to believe that there is rampant racial hatred in their midst that he is only just now extinguishing. Funny how it has all arisen in concert with the insistence of portraying a ghost on a horse as a KKK figure that nobody else ever attributed to it. CRT seeds racism like seeding clouds for rain: it is the new eugenics movement, with new elites.
Note he is befuddled: these ideological interventions “should’ve mitigated our climate issues.” Try English Layne — you have seeded these divisions that you bureaucratically “frame” as “climate issues.” This is a bald effort to manipulate rather than serve the community. And now that the experiment on our children (against parental wishes) is failing so miserably, the lifelong bureaucrat responds the only way he knows how: shift blame onto his child and parent victims. This is social justice in action — what a healthy improvement over the First Amendment and Equal Protection clause this public servant has eviscerated in full view.
Layne continues with his clueless slander, pitting teachers against parents, with him as rescuer:
Every day, all these people in the district go to work putting out the fires of hate from the students’ hearts, and every afternoon they go out into our communities and the greater world to have those fires relit. To be clear, it is not all students. It is not even most students, but it is enough to have a significant impact on our schools and what we are able to accomplish as educators.
The audacity of this statement is rivaled by its confessions. The “evil” is being illegally seeded in schools, then the kids are sent home. Layne can’t understand why his bold efforts to “put out the fires of hate” are not something he or the school were ever asked to do – their ideology has been inflicted in violation of law and parents’ wishes. Plus it is impossible to eliminate all subconscious racism through government action and therapists. When did Millington gain authority to jettison the U.S. Constitution and replace it with a vile and racist ideology? His dabbles in psychology do not equip him to ignore the law.
Layne Millington always has more insults to hurl at his peace-pipe gatherings. Citing incidents of hateful speech that his new ideology has likely seeded, he gets political. The students aren’t permitted to say “Let’s Go Brandon!” In school, but Layne stood up and actually stated this to the community:
During the investigation of [a BIPOC teacher being “driven from the community”], a middle grade student said “I’m glad so and so is President, because we can now take people like that out and shoot them.”
This is a shallow and pathetic partisan ploy at a meeting pretending to hear all views. We have seen BLM adults physically assaulting Vermonters who dare to support the police — why didn’t Layne mention that? Layne digs up the most extremist and even criminal behavior he can find to then ladle over the heads of Randolph parents.
To make sure his unsupported and generalized attacks against parents in the community have full impact, Layne makes sure it is very clear:
In case you missed it, the common theme in the examples I’ve given is that all but one involved behavior of adults in our community. That behavior has trickled down to some of our students. Because of this, I have students that are fearful in school, and adults who have expressed fear over what they have experienced in our communities. That fear is real, and as district leaders we’ve been spending more and more of our time trying to heal those who have been damaged by hate and investigating and responding to those who are perpetrating hate. This wave of behavior has accelerated and we need to respond, but … it is getting in the way of our schools and their ability to focus on student learning.
Randolph Union High School parents and students not infected with the cultish religiosity exhibited here have a different perspective. They are fearful, and their children have been targeted and silenced by school officials. Of course, more and more time will be diverted from core learning — that’s what we have been saying for years while the school board marginalized us and mindlessly inflicted this guff on our children, in blatant violation of existing laws.
Millington seeks to divert attention away from basic law to “psychology,” and understands neither. He manipulates to weaponize vague and anecdotal episodes of “perpetrating hate” by children to distract the community away from the fact that he (an adult, paid to comply with laws he breaks) is “perpetrating hate.”
Layne Millington is judge, jury and executioner of the students and parents. But his job is to teach core learning skills, not politically recondition children emotionally.
John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield. © Copyright True North Reports 2022. All rights reserved.