A majority on middle school naming does not a ‘mob’ make

June 14, 2024

Throughout the discussions concerning the naming of Concord’s new middle school, some members of the School Committee and their supporters have displayed some remarkably paranoid views about their fellow Concordians. Those who support naming the school for Ellen Garrison — a position held by the majority of Concordians, as demonstrated at Town Meeting — have been called “divisive,” “bullies,” “mob-like” and perhaps most preposterously of all, “MAGA-like.” At one point, an online rumor circulated claiming that the School Superintendent felt that she needed a police escort in order to feel safe when traveling here.

Please. What sort of Alice-in-Wonderland worldview is this? How is it that those who expect elected officials to uphold the elemental principles of democracy are being “divisive?” A majority, with which you may not agree, does not make a “mob.” The School Superintendent, I feel confident in boldly asserting, can travel about town without fear of attack from the Friends of Ellen.

By making the brief exchange that occurred at the School Committee meeting on May 21, 2024 — at which I was present — into a “news” story, reported without full context, the Concord Bridge is feeding a false, fact-free narrative that perpetuates a destructive, us-versus-them mentality that is taking root in our town. One person’s inflammatory opinion about what another person did — however upset and passionate either person may be — is not, in fact, news. Do I feel as if I am being “crucified” by Dr. Hunter because of my own public stance on this issue? Of course I don’t: and, if I did feel that way, I would hope that the Bridge would have the wisdom not to dignify that extremely eccentric view of mine as being newsworthy.

Craig Awmiller

Lang Street