- Ingvard Ashby
Melania Trump managed a surprisingly not-horrible public relations move last week when she visited Dove School of Discovery in Tulsa. Sans her “I really don’t care, do u?” jacket, colonizer pith helmet and Santa-mocking husband, the first lady visited with students about kindness as part of a three-state tour promoting her “Be Best” anti-bullying initiative.
The Orwellian irony of any Trump claiming to give a crap about human decency while children separated from their families at the border remain unaccounted for (to name one of seemingly infinite examples) is headache-inducing for sure, but considering the first lady told ABC News last year that she believes she might be “the most bullied person in the world,” Chicken-Fried News will resist the urge to pile on. Instead, CFN will generously describe her demeanor with the students — who braved severe weather conditions that closed Tulsa’s public schools to be there — as remarkably lifelike.
Speaking of setting the bar ever lower, unlike the private Christian school where second lady Karen “Mother” Pence teaches art, Dove Schools do not appear to have any official policies discriminating against LGBTQ+ people, but the charter school network did lose Tulsa Public Schools sponsorship in 2009 due to “concerns about services for special education students and the legality of consequences for certain behavior infractions” according to Tulsa World, and an Oklahoma Department of Education audit ruled in 2016 that new sponsor Langston University “did not appear to be providing adequate oversight of the charter schools as required by law.”
According to an official policy statement from National Education Association, charter schools, which are not sufficiently held accountable at any level of government, “drain funding from local public schools." Someone should tell the first lady that stealing someone’s lunch money is a classic schoolyard bully tactic.