Now people are upset that a private citizen, Ed Stone, had extensive input into the wording of our school district’s diversity policy. “When did we start letting constituents write district policy?” one parent group asked. “One person (whose expertise is not equity or diversity) should not have been the sole author of language for such an impactful policy,” another commenter argued.
First of all, there’s nothing wrong with the role Stone has played. Elected officials can rely as much or as little as they like on whatever informal advisors they choose. There’s no reason to think Stone bribed anyone, or that he has anything to gain personally from the policy. (He’s an ophthalmology professor.) He’s an activist, and you have to assume that the board members who consulted him agree with him.
More importantly, who cares who wrote the policy? The identity of the drafter can’t possibly tell us anything about the merits of the policy that isn’t apparent from the policy itself.
Meanwhile, in response to the charges of improper influence, Stone “noted that the principals of the west-side secondary schools sent letters to parents that he felt were meant to stir up opposition to the diversity policy. ‘I would be much more concerned about that unfair political advocacy,’ he said.” Ugh. Wouldn’t the time spent accusing people of “unfair advocacy” be better spent articulating arguments for and against the policy on its merits?