The term “March Madness’ often evokes thoughts of Cinderella storied basketball teams that beat the odds to make a successful run at glory, along with shining moments that completely change the dynamic felt by all the players involved.
But these principles can easily be applied to the developments of New Hope Academy in York, PA, when a recent school board meeting provided a moment more shocking than when the 14th seed Mercer upset number 2 Duke.
In what can only be described as a gutless move, the York County School Board motioned for police to escort New Hope performing arts director Cal Weary out, after refusing to acknowledge Weary because he apparently didn’t sign in to be recognized. So naturally, this somehow warranted police intervention.
“What I would have said to them is this — we are all part of the same community. All we want is fair representation,” Weary said following the meeting. “We’re asking for a seat at the table.” There’s a certain sadness to the silencing of the only side of the table calling for compromise and dialogue.
After refusing to hear from New Hope supporters throughout the meeting, Board member Margie Orr also refused to hear from students, claiming the Board is solely accountable to “taxpayers.” The revealing mindset that school officials aren’t accountable to the students they serve is nothing short of astonishing and appalling.
Since last year, New Hope has been embroiled in a fight to keep its school doors open in the face of local adversity, all the while boasting achievement data that shows remarkable gains posted by students coming from the traditional school setting.
The courts of Pennsylvania will now decide New Hope’s fate, and hopefully there’s room for one more Cinderella Story to beat the odds and show that they belong. New Hope