Finally, the Madison school board is showing signs it may back away from its wrongheaded decision to name a new elementary school for Hmong warlord Vang Pao.
To a remarkable degree, the board has stubbornly ignored all evidence of Vang Pao’s bloody past. That’s because Madison’s emergent Hmong community has rallied behind the proposal, and the board, wishing to celebrate Madison’s multicultural makeup, has decided that the Hmong’s time is now, no matter what the objections.
Carol Carstensen has been the lone exception in her willingness to reconsider the naming decision.
Not surprisingly, Bill Keys, the former school board member and perhaps the city’s most arrogant and self-righteous liberal, has been in the frontlines of Vang Pao’s supporters. Disappointingly, several past and present board members who should know better also threw their credibility behind the school naming, despite serious accusations of Vang Pao’s war crimes, drug dealing and suspect fundraising activities.