Tim Grover’s recent assault on free speech reminded me of an incident which took place when we both served together on the Board back in the mid 1990’s.
Tim was my best friend on the board at the time. We were each other’s confidants and we often couldn’t wait to get home and call each other to analyze what had taken place at our meetings. These calls involved much frivolity and joking around. My nickname for him back then was “Fearless.” His nickname for me would eventually become “Spineless Bastard” which came from an article I’d written about myself in the wake of the last major controversy of my School Board career. Tim might not have realized that my name for him was a little ironic because he was prone to casting popular votes or votes that were extremely parochial in favor of his fourth of the School District rather than the whole School District. It didn’t matter. We traded both names in very good humor.
There had been a spate of drug incidents and our local police force was eager to get the School Board’s approval for occasional surprise canine inspections of our high schools. The dogs would sniff out contraband. Although I consider myself a friend of the ACLU I concluded that drugs floating around our schools was a serious enough plague that the occasional canine inspection would be pardonable. Tim agonized about this telling me that he found the idea of dogs and cops searching lockers for drugs repellent.
Tim had been a Democrat in earlier years but he left the party when it became as intollerant of pro-life dissent as the GOP was becoming toward the pro-choice position. He had bought into the GOP’s anti-tax posture as well to such an extent that it would shock Red Plan opponants who only see dollar signs as Tim shepherds one Red Plan project after another through the School Board. Still, enough of Tim’s old anti-authoritarian and liberal ways lived on for him to cringe at the thought of police roaming the halls of our schools.
I can’t recall how he voted on locker searches. He may have voted with me to permit them or against them. In either case he was unhappy at the prospect of permitting them. Evidently all that’s left today of Tim’s previous Democratic inclinations are best represented by Chicago’s Mayor Daley, circa 1968.