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Delaware Senate Republicans

Senator Buckson Issues Statement Regarding Tuesday’s Senate Floor Debate

March 6, 2024

DOVER, DE – On Wednesday, March 6, 2024, Senator Eric Buckson (R-South Dover) issued the following statement.

“For the past five months or so, I have worked with the Senate and House Education Chairs, members of both political parties, and numerous members of the public to draft Senate Concurrent Resolution 117 that would create a task force to examine classroom behavior and discipline in our public schools. During these thoughtful conversations, suggestions were made and I was asked to change some of the language within my first draft. On nearly every occasion, I honored those requests and crafted a measure that was collaborative and bipartisan. The language I opted to keep allowed for House and Senate minority leadership to appoint their respective caucus’s task force members. Democrat leadership took issue with this, as they thought it necessary for them to be the ones to appoint all members. To me, this speaks to the majority wanting complete control and this is something I have expressed deep concerns about in the past.

“Unfortunately, the work of my colleagues in the House and Senate Democratic Caucuses, along with several bipartisan legislators and members of the public education community, was completely disregarded because of the actions of Senate Majority Leader Bryan Townsend and members of the Democratic Senate.

“On Tuesday, shortly before the Senate was set to convene, Senator Townsend asked to meet with me. What I had hoped to be a productive meeting turned into an egregious act of political strong-arming. Townsend stated that he had crafted a new resolution and essentially demanded that I walk away from a resolution that others and I had spent months working on and join his. He claimed to have been approached by members who had expressed concerns, but those concerns were never relayed to me. Concerns, I might add, that proved to be unfounded after closer inspection on the Senate floor.

“I want to be clear, had Senator Townsend approached me with a request to work together on potential changes, I would have said yes. Instead, he chose to press forward, disregarding the important work by the education community and giving the impression that we do not matter. This was further exemplified by the fact that his resolution decreases the number of educators to be appointed to the task force and replaces them with government bureaucrats. This is something that my resolution intentionally avoided.

“For nearly 10 years, one party rule has had complete control of the Department of Education. During that time, our student performance has steadily declined and the work environment of our educators has deteriorated. The focus on equitable outcomes, in many ways, fails to see the importance of removing a disruptive student for an extended period of time so that the school has the ability to provide the needed resources to that child while the remaining students continue to move forward. We have replaced the three R’s of learning (reading, writing and arithmetic) with DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion), failing to see that there is a difference in the acronyms when it comes to basic learning in our schools. They have placed so much bureaucratic overload on the backs of our educators that the teachers no longer have enough time to actually teach.

“With that said, not every elected Democrat should be lumped into this category and many Delaware Democrats feel like I do. So let’s call out the theft of an important resolution for what it is, while remaining focused on the mission, which is to put structure and accountability back in our schools so that our educators can feel safe and respected, and our children can learn!”

Senator Eric Buckson represents the 16th Senate District and is a retired public educator.


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