Is Washington School Superintendent Randy Dorn falling off his rocker?
That may be an explanation for his recent bizarre behavior.
This week, Dorn said it was time to shut down the state’s K-12 public schools. In a court brief filed Wednesday, Dorn argues that the state Supreme Court “needs to find a way to enforce its 2012 ruling that K-12 schools are unconstitutionally underfunded.”
He suggests the extreme option of closing schools “until the Legislature makes progress toward fully paying for education.” Via the Seattle Times:
“Among other things, Dorn also suggests the court stop some special state tax exemptions or divert nonschool funds to spend on education.
“Or the court could punish individual lawmakers, argued Dorn, a vocal advocate for education funding.”
On Thursday, Dorn visited schools in Tukwila. While visiting a high school, Dorn actually asked a student whether or not he is legal. Here’s how KOMO News reported the exchange:
Dorn was at [student] Medina-Schroeder’s school Thursday when a casual bantering session took hold and Dorn leaned in to ask a question.
“And then he went like, asked me under his breath, ‘Are you legal or not?’ he went like that,” Medina-Schroeder said.
A KOMO News photographer was on the spot recording the conversation, which began when Medina-Schroeder volunteered that he had gone to school in Mexico.
“Now I’ll ask you under my breath, are you legal or illegal?” Dorn is heard asking the student.
Medina-Schroeder answers, “I’m legal, I’m half-American.”
“Oh, Okay. Okay,” Dorn says. “I always wonder about that. I have kids that come in from Brewster, so two of the kids, they were born in the US. Their mom and dad were migrants, mom and dad kept going across the border.”
Dorn claims he was “trying to gauge the student’s opportunities based on what he knows about migrant families.” Really, he was probably trying to create an opportunity for a political statement.
In any case, to pose that question to a high school student as a public official is extremely inappropriate.
But, hey, he’s a Democrat, so it’s no big deal. Now, if a Republican had done the same, it would already be a national story.