Dr. Fred Lowry, the Volusia County Council’s resident conspiracy theorist, is packing his bags and heading to school.
Not a school where he’ll learn the answers to his questions like, “Are America’s rich and powerful draining the blood of children and feasting on it?” or “Is the COVID-19 pandemic completely fabricated?”
Nope, none of that. Fred Lowry’s running for a seat on the Volusia County School Board, where he’d get to make decisions involving kids. What could possibly go wrong?
Lowry is receiving support from the organization Volusia Parents for Freedom, a group focused on booting School Board members who supported a mask mandate for students as the delta variant of COVID-19 was hospitalizing frightening numbers of people in Volusia County last summer. Lowry is running for Seat 5, now occupied by Ruben Colón.
Colón works for AdventHealth as a licensed respiratory therapist.
Lowry is a preacher who has not been silent about what he believes. From his pulpit, he has claimed the 2020 presidential election was stolen from President Donald Trump, that climate change is a hoax, that the COVID-19 pandemic was a lie and that “Hollywood elites” are harvesting the blood of children to make a drug that keeps them young.
Lowry being on the County Council is one thing, but School Board meetings have, in recent years, tended to bring out a conspiratorial crowd, especially when it comes to topics like COVID-19.
These meetings have become battlegrounds between people begging the School Board to do the bare minimum to prevent the spread of an airborne virus and some who think mandating face coverings to prevent the spread of a virus is akin to the Holocaust.
Now, the School Board itself has, for the most part, stayed away from embracing the conspiratorial rhetoric spouted by some who come to the meetings. Well, aside from Board Member Jamie Haynes, who has touted her own research on COVID-19 over the research done by health experts who have come to address the board.
Putting Lowry in a position where his conspiracy theories could affect not just the health of Volusia County’s children and families, but what they learn in classrooms, is dangerous.
He is dangerous. He represents the worst, most divisive impulses of our political moment.
In a May 30, 2021, sermon, Lowry had this to say about running for public office:
“So many Christians sat back in the 1960s when the Supreme Court made so many horrible decisions about prayer and the Bible and said, ‘Well, we shouldn’t get involved in the politics.’ How wrong we were. We’ve let the old snake, the old serpent, take over those areas. We stood back with an excuse, the devil’s excuse, we didn’t do what we should do and now we’re in a mess.”
We’re expected to be able to trust this guy to make the right decisions about what’s best for our future leaders?