Part 1: Is Semi Bird the Tip of the Spear for WA Parents to Take Back Their Rights?
We're back, we're bold, and we're going to win.
My dear readers, I’m back and I come bearing very good news on two fronts.
Friday, September 30 I was making dinner when I saw a text come through from a friend of mine who is a school board president in Washington. He was in the middle of a virtual meeting for the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA) General Assembly. WSSDA is the association that oversees and governs all 295 school boards in our state. They meet annually at their general assembly to vote on resolutions and policy for the upcoming year. He texted me because a topic he knew I cared about deeply had just been proposed as a resolution, and it had ignited a controversial debate with the assembly.
His first text was cryptic.
“Eryn, I’m in the WSSDA general assembly meeting. Parents being recognized as stakeholders has just been proposed! It passed!”
I was shocked. “Tell me more! How are they wording it? What’s the language of the resolution?”
He didn’t answer for a long time. Then another cryptic text:
“No. Wait. The bigger districts have called for a weighted vote.”
Weighted votes change the procedure from allowing one vote per district, to a “weighted” vote which gives each district a certain number of votes based on their population. This would obviously give more votes to districts like Seattle, Bellevue, Shoreline, etc.
I was so nervous and excited I forgot about dinner on the stove. To understand the sheer gravity of this resolution and the ripple effect it could have for parents’ rights, let me apprise you of a little background.
Last year—the school year from Hell—myself and over 100 other volunteer coordinators formed a network of 10,000+ parents across the state of Washington who worked tirelessly for months to educate each other about a gaping hole in WA law. That hole is where parents should be. According to RCW 28A, which creates and provides for the public school system in Washington, any mention of parents as decision-makers in their children’s education is utterly missing.
This is typical of most deep blue states.
We may think that the system gives us a voice through our elected school board, but legally we have no actual standing in the business of what happens to our children once they step onto school property.
Our state clearly outlines public school as a business, of which only the WA legislature is recognized as a stakeholder. Not only are parents not acknowledged, but we have been slyly prevented from having a seat at the table by a vast network of unelected bureaucrats in governing associations like WSSDA and OSPI (the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction).
We’ve always been this powerless. We just didn’t know it until the assumption of our rights was tested last year through the lockdowns, masks and mandates. For a deeper look at what we went through last year, refer back to the Substack article I wrote in March: Part 1: Are Parents the Primary Stakeholders in their Children’s Education?
In an effort to regain our legal rights, many parents took classes last year from the Center for Self-Governance. We learned that in a state as far left as Washington, where school governance is still under a chokehold from Jay Inslee, we would need to be strategic, and willing to execute a plan that might not see fruit at the level of the legislature for a couple of years. The plan started (and was successful) in Tonasket School District in Okanogon County, where CSG students introduced a resolution to their school board which stated that parents are the primary stakeholder in their children’s upbringing. The word “upbringing” is essential because “parents’ rights” ends after a child turns 18. Upbringing is a concept that continues for a young person after the age of 18.
Resolutions are easy to pass because they have no legal teeth. They are not policy. But their magic is similar to a mission statement for a corporation. All policy needs to meet the standards of a board’s resolutions. If a policy does not, it needs to be evaluated, rewritten, and voted on again.
See the magic?
If these resolutions had been passed prior to the pandemic, parents would have had a legal leg to stand on when they came to school board meetings in droves last year and were given the silent treatment. We could have pulled up that resolution and requested our rights as recognized stakeholders.
Last year my network of mama bears was able to rally anywhere from 20 to 100 parents in each district, of which 60 were represented, to share letters to their school boards asking for this resolution to be considered. The response was unanimous. School board members across the state assumed, just like we had, that parents were already legal stakeholders in the school system. They didn’t see the point of the resolution because they assumed it to be painfully obvious and redundant. Their ignorance of the truth of a parents legal standing was appalling. The few who took the time to consider it were met with the opposition CSG had prepared us for. WSSDA-trained lawyers immediately erected roadblocks in every school district we attempted to introduce it.
The eyes of parents and board members were opened. The State had shown its cards. Parents have no rights in public schools and WSSDA was willing to fight hard to keep it that way. Fortunately, CSG leaders had trained us not to be too disappointed by the rejection. We knew our efforts were designed to reveal and expose the truth to parents, school board members and legislators who had been in the dark about our legal standing.
In the 2022 legislative session, Representative Brad Klippert decided to go to bat for parents. (Remember to write him in as your vote for Secretary of State next Tuesday). He proposed the “Parents are Primary Stakeholders…” resolution at the level of the legislature. He, too, was shot down. The GOP House attorney said the resolution contradicted too much of what was already written into Washington law.
Please read that last sentence again and let it sink in.
With Brad Klippert’s chess move, he was able to reveal who in the GOP would stand with parents and who were actually brainwashed or bought by the Establishment. (And now you know why Jaqueline Maycomber needs to be voted out and replaced with Constituional Conservative Lonny Williams in the 7th District. I’ve spent hours with Lonny. Good, stand up guy. He’ll fight for parents’ rights. )
Do you see why I was so shocked when my friend texted me that a resolution acknowledging parents had made it all the way to the WSSDA general assembly?
According to delegates who were at the assembly, the resolution was initially met with the same confusion that our school boards experienced when we first introduced it last year. Why does this need to be formally acknowledged? Isn’t it obvious that parents are stakeholders? Their ignorance of that black hole in WA law was pervasive.
Then others remembered our letters from last year and piped up, wondering if there was more to this resolution than they realized. My friend in attendance said the debate was heated and went on for quite a while. The WSSDA lawyers (or their coaching) must have been at the general assembly meeting. The bigger, bluer districts called for a weighted re-vote which they knew would give them the ability to outnumber the smaller, more family-focused districts.
The weighted votes were cast, and the resolution did not pass.
This is where the second piece of good news comes in, and his name is Misipati “Semi” Bird, a school board member from Richland, WA.
Semi knows his Roberts Rules of Order and was able to use his strategic “nay” in the weighted vote to call for more discussion and another, third vote! He made an impassioned plea to the General Assembly to recognize that voting down this resolution would make themselves look very bad in front of parents. He pointed out the risk of the negative optics. Semi is a PhD student of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He used his training and ingeniously appealed to their human nature for self-preservation.
Semi is also a parent and a grandparent, and genuinely believes in parents’ rights. He stood up against Jay Inslee last year and called for “mask choice” in his own school district. But the genius in his message was not to beat a dead horse about parents’ rights, but instead to remind the board members that they would be creating their own funeral if word got out that they wouldn’t acknowledge this resolution. He let the bigger districts on the East side of the state know that he didn’t appreciate them bullying the whole state into submission on the issue.
The third vote was called for, and the general assembly’s nature to preserve their own skin prevailed. The resolution passed—many thanks to Semi’s brilliance and the effective debate of other board members who agreed with him.
For those 10,000 parents who were a part of our network last year, who sat through hours of town hall meetings with me as I tried to explain the power of this resolution, and to all those parents who showed up to school board meetings and delivered those letters--I want to sincerely thank you for the seeds you planted that have now borne fruit. Patience is a virtue.
WSSDA can no longer deny us a seat at the table.
If we need to wave this resolution in the faces of our school boards, we can, albeit with the same grace and diplomacy that we used when we were effective last year.
The next step is to use this precedent to introduce the resolution “Parents are Primary Stakeholders in their Children’s Upbringing” in every school board across Washington. However, this time we’ll know that the best strategy to get it passed is not to ask for it at a school board meeting. Our first move on the chess board is to make a connection with a school board member who agrees with the resolution, and then ask them to introduce it from the inside of the inner sanctum.
Do you see now why it’s imperative that more of us run for school board in the coming year? In my own district, three seats will be open for reelection!
Once the resolution is passed, it can be made policy. And once we have achieved a tipping point of awareness, we can find more support for the resolution and eventually legislation in Olympia.
After my friend witnessed the debate at the general assembly, he realized how much easier it would have been to get this resolution passed had the more conservative board members across the state been able to coordinate their efforts--just as we created a network of conservative parents last year. It’s time to unite school board members who are pro-parents, who align with the federal and state Constitution, and who are seeing through the WSSDA leftist agenda. If you know of board members in your district who might want to be made aware of a pro-parent network, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, dear readers, for my final piece of good news.
Wouldn’t it be nice if a guy like Misipati “Semi” Bird, who stood up for mask choice in his own school district, decided to do something radically courageous and run for governor of Washington?
My friends, not only has he been asked to run, but he’s also been endorsed by the America First P.A.C.T.
I’ve had several hours of conversation with Semi. I deeply respect people who have deep respect for him. I’ve witnessed his impact on an audience, and I can assure you this man is highly electable. Not only does he have a very good shot at winning, but he is the antidote to the leftist agenda that has poisoned Washington state.
Discern for yourself your first impressions of Semi. Listen to him explain his stand on School Choice, accountability for education outcomes and parents’ rights. He’ll also tell you a bit about that WSSDA General Assembly meeting: https://rumble.com/v1ml4ni-semi-bird-delivers-a-passionate-speech-about-school-choice.html
Semi is a Constitutional Conservative and a Christian. He’s a distinguished veteran, an Army Special Forces Green Beret, and a highly educated man—but he’s not a career politician. That’s what I like best about him. He earned his stripes with hard-won grit, learned at a young age growing up in the inner city being raised by a single mother. He survived the destructive intent of Critical Race Theory and he has no apprehension to stand up and tell the world.
In Part 2 of this article I’ll share with you a great conversation I had with Semi about his political views.
I challenged him to give me straight answers and concrete solutions to Washington’s problems. He did not disappoint. Most importantly, I learned that Semi knows down to his bones that if he chooses to run for governor, he will be doing it on the shoulders of a well-chosen team. He’s not a one-man band. He’s not interested in creating the “Semi Show”. He would be the tip of the spear. But the shaft of the spear would be his advisors, his team, and us—the parents of Washington.
If Semi chooses to run, his intent is to unite what’s been divided about our state. You’ll have to hear him speak and look into his eyes to pick up on the reasons why I believe he’d truly have a shot at pulling this off. Well, not just him. It’ll be him and his team (which includes the Divine).
Stay tuned for the next article. And in the meantime, meet me on November 11 at the State Capitol at 2:30pm in the Rotunda for a beautiful event to honor our nation’s veterans. Semi will be there to meet you….and he has an announcement.
Will he answer the call? Will we have a chance to have a patriotic, Constitution-loving parent elected Governor of Washington State?
My friends, pray that God guides Misipati “Semi” Bird. Pray for next Tuesday’s election. And pray for Washington’s children.
For more info on Semi, go to www.semibird.us
P.S. For those of you who wondered where I was for the last few months, I was working for the Chamber of Commerce and getting my feet wet in small town politics. I had the subscriptions turned off because I knew I’d have little time to write. But I’m back and rarin’ to go. If you choose a paid subscription, myself and my kiddo appreciate it. I’m committed to keeping you updated via the Silver Chord Project, or reach out to me at email@example.com.