Editorial: School board should use better judgment

Some Albuquerque Public Schools board members seem to have taken leave of their civic sense with their support of a proposal to ban elected officials or candidates from speaking at high school graduations.

Board member David Peercy said if the full board approves the proposal this week, it would even deny graduates the unlikely opportunity of hearing President Obama.

Peercy graciously offered to explain the policy to the president. That would be some conversation. Maybe it could be taped and played to the graduates, instead of the inspiring message of hope, civic duty and patriotism a sitting U.S. president could offer.

Adopting such a policy would mean Gov. Susana Martinez — the nation's first Hispanic woman governor, who used her drive and education to rise from a working class family to set policy and an agenda for the Land of Enchantment — couldn't give another commencement speech to graduates at Rio Grande High, as she did last year.

Same goes for other politicians who could teach a thing or two about civics or history, like a U.S. senator, attorney general or state Supreme Court justice.

Doesn't education include learning about how the world works, how our political system works and how current events become history?

Setting a rigid policy lets administrators off the hook about deciding who is appropriate to address the next generation of workers and leaders, and not everyone is equally qualified to give a commencement address. But heaven forbid APS officials should have to apply judgment and make a decision.

Wasn't it a president (hint JFK) who wrote a book called "Profiles in Courage?"

Commencement speakers usually try to inspire a young crowd and recognize their accomplishments, not give a campaign stump speech. Most politicians likely would recognize that trying to politicize the kids' big day could backfire in a big way.

Board members on board with this ridiculous proposal should reconsider it.

Common sense, anyone?

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