Why Can’t Barbara Rush Tell the Truth?

Today’s profile of Barbara Rush in the Independent Record was a wonderful example of a candidate willing to lie to increase here chances of getting elected.  While I don’t have time to point out all of the misstatements from Mrs. Rush, the following provide an adequate sample of her dishonesty:

1. Mrs. Rush demagogued on the health curriculum once again:

“I don’t feel parents were fairly represented,” Rush said. “But I do think we have values in common that are important — honesty, respect, discipline, hard work, personal responsibility … they don’t need to learn about anal and oral sex in the fifth grade. That’s not helpful.”

I’m pretty sure those are not health curriculum related terms. Once again, Mrs. Rush is ignoring the broad, research-based approach that works to help students remain healthy and safe.

2. Mrs. Rush told the Independent Record that she favored an opt-out policy for high school sex education:

Rush agreed that there should be some sex education in high school, but an opt-out option needs to be easily and readily available, she said.

That’s a fascinating position for Mrs. Rush to take, given that she testified in favor of HB 456, which would have mandated an opt-in policy and 48 hours notice before any discussion of sexual issues:

Barbara Rush, a retired Helena teacher and outspoken opponent to the recently adopted Health Enhancement Curriculum, said its a sad day when a bill needs to be passed to protect children from the school curriculum.

3. Mrs. Rush claimed to not favor cutting funding for schools:

Rush does believe that teachers are a good investment of dollars and in Helena they are paid fairly.
“I wouldn’t cut teachers or their supplies,” she said.

And yet, she testified in favor of House Bill 397, a radical proposal from James Knox which would have defunded public schools and transferred the money to unaccredited and largely unregulated private schools. The simple fact is that Mrs. Rush hates public education—and has worked for years (since her retirement) to attack it.

4. Finally, Mrs. Rush told the IR this incredible tale:

“I can bring up and ask important questions because of my background,” Rush said. “I can be useful. I work well with people — this is not a left-right world, it’s a middle world.”

If anyone who has had the misfortune of listening to Mrs. Rush hector the School Board or lecture a committee at the Montana Legislature believes either that she can “work well with people” or that she doesn’t see the world in terms of her right-wing agenda, I would be shocked beyond belief. I mean, someone who wants to take free lunches from poor children or who speaks like this certainly seems like someone who’s operating in the middle of the political spectrum, right?

The same people who promote sex education today were the free love generation of the ’60s. The progressive viewpoint promoting open sexuality created sex education in the schools and the tolerance of girls coming to school visibly pregnant (these girls used to have a home school teacher). These progressives mocked, and still mock, the moral values of the ’50s.

Sometimes, elections are choices between equally qualified candidates who see the world in slightly different ways. This is not one of those times. If you want to elect a School Board member who misrepresents the truth, believes in banning books, wants to defund public education, and sacrifice the health of children for the sake of her ideological views, Barbara Rush is your candidate.

Helena schools and Helena students deserve better.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.


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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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