Last week I voted NO on one of the most frustrating bills I’ve seen in my two years in the Vermont House. As a member of the Education Committee, it was in our hands to vote and send to the floor.

The bill will make “discriminatory school branding” a state issue. If anybody – anybody at all – is offended, no matter how far-fetched, by any school’s athletic team name, that person can mobilize the state bureaucracy to bring yet another hammer down on the locals and cause a substantial financial burden on the schools. The final vote in committee was 7-4-0 in favor. Those who were against it fought hard to let this bill die in committee. To no avail.

This bill takes control once again out of the hands of the local communities and into the hands of the state. What should happen is that if anybody is offended for whatever reason, let them take it up with the school board, and let the school board work out a solution that most local people will accept. We must do better at fighting for local control. Please reach out to your representatives to insist that Governor Scott veto S139. Flood my email inbox with your concerns.

Terri L. Williams serves in the Vermont House of Representatives from the Essex/Caledonia District. She lives in Granby.

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