"Why Run for School Board?"
At last week's school board meeting, I was one of many to speak up for #MaskChoice. During the vote, which went 9-0 for mandatory face coverings for all students at FCASD, I voiced my opposition and led a walkout. For me and those who joined me, the school board's response to this community's pleas for parental rights was shameful.

However, because one person in the crowd, who was a stranger to me, chose to protest this vote with an obnoxious and unfair insult to the school board, I have been called a Nazi for the past week (see details in next section).

My sin was voicing an opinion - #MaskChoice - which I have held very publicly for months and have spoken up about at past board meetings (watch my June 8 comments or read this post). But it is politically helpful to some to call me this name now, so there it is.

This past week raises an important question I hear a lot, from supporters and opponents - "why run for school board, Greg?"

The arguments against running are obvious: outlandish personal insults about my parenting decisions and job and volunteer choices; a torrent of unhinged hate in local facebook groups; and, my own school-aged child will be attending the Catholic school where I teach, so she won't be impacted.

Let me answer with my ABC's.

Accountability - Two years ago, a slate of three candidates ran on a platform of accountability and transparency. That cabal, along with FCASD mainstay Ron Frank, now runs the school board. They were not elected to condemn our community as racist (see June 2020 George Floyd Resolution), impose endless and draconian mask and quarantine rules, or increase taxes repeatedly, but that is what they have done. They should be held accountable, and electing me will put someone at the table who answers to voters, not to the Democratic Party of Allegheny County.

Balance. Last week's 9-0 vote to forcibly mask everyone at FCA schools is just the latest in a series of decisions that don't represent this community. The George Floyd Resolution last summer that accused this community of carrying out "explicit racism" was another 9-0 vote. The board's repeated attacks on parents who choose different learning options for their child, like public charter schools, are also 9-0 votes. The school board should have at least one member willing to speak for the other side of these contentious questions and challenge the groupthink. I am running to be that person.

Choice - My opponent for the November school board race is always trying to denigrate choices that differ from what she and the school board want. Watch her comments here . Unlike my opponent, I won't attack parents for making the best decision on behalf of their child. Mandating masks actively excludes people from our community's schools and tramples parental rights. If parents choose cyber charter schools because it's a better fit, or a private or religious school because it serves their needs, or homeschools because they feel called to - I support those decisions. All parents, wherever their child is for school, should feel welcome at our public schools anytime, not demonized for making a different choice at different times. I want excellent and welcoming schools for my kids and for everyone else's kids.

Those are my ABCs for running - restore Accountability, bring Balance, and empower Choice. Please forward this whenever anyone asks you about my campaign.
About That Guy
Perhaps you heard that someone made a gesture that was entirely inappropriate at the school board meeting last week. If you want a mostly fair summary of the events of last week's meeting, try the Post-Gazette coverage (link), their reporter is a professional and he quoted me accurately. Here's the excerpt about me:

Some of the crowd booed board members as they voted to approve the mandate.

When the voting was completed, Greg Dolan, who is running for a seat on the school board and spoke against the mask mandate, stood up from his seat in the first row and said the school board was ignoring the people who voiced their objections. School board President Marybeth Dadd immediately called Mr. Dolan out of order and started pounding her gavel.

"This is a travesty," Mr. Dolan said. "This is not America."

Mr. Dolan then turned to the crowd, said “Let’s go,” and motioned for them to leave, prompting a group of people seated behind him to stand up and make their way toward the exit. That’s when a man wearing a gray shirt stood up an (sic) made a Nazi salute toward board members. Seconds later, someone in the crowd yelled “You made Dr. Mengele proud!” referring to the Nazi doctor who performed medical experiments on prisoners in the Auschwitz concentration camp.  

In a phone interview Thursday afternoon, Mr. Dolan said the man who gave the Nazi salute “was a complete stranger to me when I walked into that meeting.”

“The protest I led was out of frustration ... and indignation at the trampling of parents rights to protect their children,” he said. “There was nothing coordinated about it.” 

Mr. Dolan added that he takes no responsibility for what somebody in the crowd did “while rejecting the need wholly to insult the school board with Nazi references.”
"How Can I Help?"
We have a real chance to offer Fox Chapel Area an independent voice on the School Board this fall - but it requires real engagement from the community. If I'm elected, I pledge to serve ALL residents and defend their right to parent as they see fit. You can help in the following ways:
One last thing...
There's a new "Media" section on my website where you can see my on-camera interviews. I'll be adding links to all of these newsletters plus any print interviews. Check it out at GregDolan.com then click "Media"
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