“The oppressed, instead of striving for liberation, tend themselves to become oppressors.” -Paulo Freire
You don’t have to have to be a clinical psychologist OR have been one of the few people to actually finish and understand Pedagogy of the Oppressed in college to understand Bagley’s dynamics, but it helps.
Otherwise, it’s mind-boggling how the chief operating officer for a public school district could rationalize making the most vulnerable kids in our community pawns in his ideological war on Ross Valley Charter, while his minions applaud any strategy at any cost. One might think his own vulnerability and story– much advertised – would make him an advocate for special ed kids or those who are otherwise marginalized – low income kids, immigrants, students who just don’t fit in or thrive in a more traditional setting.
But his blog post lays it out pretty clearly. Rather than mastering his own victimization and becoming a defender of the under served, he has become the bully his younger self feared. And just as he describes in his blog, his newfound STAND fans circle him, laughing and cheering as he believes he has humiliated his perceived opponent.
Except, in reality – while at the same time STAND supporters cloak themselves in progressive slogans and jeering encouragement, Bagley and his board’s misuse of power targets some of the most vulnerable in our communities: a residency verification system that disproportionately identifies immigrants and low income people and a proposed policy to ship special ed kids served by RVC to a distant and remote location so their schools’ aspiration to serve them with as little marginalization as possible is thwarted.
Some people heal their wounds and can go on to be great, compassionate leaders; others enact them.
Tolerance for and applause of these abuses of power are showing this community who it is.