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Mark Twain famously observed that, first, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then, he made school boards.

Pointing this out is one sure way to irritate school-board members. Our crop surely deserves some irritation, so feel free to remark.

It does not take a lot of observation to see that Volusia School Board members are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. They are not even the smartest school board in the two-county Volusia and Flagler region. Look at how they handled graduation.

Flagler took advantage of the offer from the racetrack folks. Graduation was at the racetrack, and graduates got to make a trip around the track. Not the conventional graduation, but at least it will stand out. Their Class of 2020 will have something positive to remember.

Our Volusia County School Board turned down the same opportunity in favor of dull speeches in the Ocean Center. On that basis, 2020 is like every other easily forgotten graduation. Pay to park; try not to snore during the ceremony.

The thing that sets this one apart is that they did not allow the graduates to bring their families. Each grad was limited to two tickets. Sure, the 2020 ceremony will be remembered; the graduation where the families were shut out.

I should also probably note that it is now July. Graduation should have been a month ago. Flagler managed that and made it special as well.

We are already to the point where school boards are debating when and how to start school for the next year.

Sure, this late graduation still featured speeches by various officials. Mostly, they tried not to praise themselves directly. Instead, they indirectly praised themselves for how well people tolerated their handling of the COVID-19 problems. With enough bragging, no one should notice that they did a really poor job.

At this point, it may be better if the whole thing is quickly forgotten.

This year’s graduation was the quintessential blown opportunity. It may be unclear what the School Board was thinking, but we know what the 2020 grads are thinking — God waited until he had a whole lot of experience before making the Volusia County School Board.

— Andrews is a DeLand-area attorney and a longtime government critic. For purposes of the column, he finds it convenient that there is so much government to criticize.


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