Is Wilder using Bear Mom logic in appealing schools ruling?
The irony was so sharp I thought I might have needed a Band-Aid after reading the paper this morning. A federal judge has ruled that the city must make Richmond public schools accessible to people with disabilities. After having spent a week or so talking about the Maymont bears incident and possibly investigating the mother involved for negligence, Mayor Wilder has promised to appeal the judge’s decision in the schools lawsuit. Where’s the irony? It’s in Wilder’s argument, which almost mirrors the tortured logic used by mother of the bitten boy. It’s something like “I didn’t mean any harm, therefore I bear no legal responsibility.”
“The judge’s decision points out that the city has done nothing wrong and, for that reason, we think that the decision should be appealed, so as not to give the impression that the city had done anything wrong,” Wilder said in a statement.
Is he serious? Or is he simply so petulant that the thought of being told what to do -- even when it’s absolutely the right thing to do and is ordered by a federal judge -- makes him so crazy that he abandons common sense, logic and moral responsibility? How else to explain dragging out what is inevitable: the city must and will be made to fix the access problems in 54 of its 60 school buildings.
No one, not Wilder or City Council or the School Board, disputes that these buildings do not provide proper access for disabled students, parents, teachers or visitors. In fact, the School Board has agreed to a five-year-plan to fix the schools and it is that plan the judge has adopted as the legal remedy. But Wilder insists that it’s not the city’s responsibility. It will be interesting to see how far he takes this tantrum, how much time and energy he spends and how much taxpayer money he wastes that could be used to do what is right and just fix the problem.