“We let you win:” Tallahassee’s arrogance, thuggery, and cowardice in 1 Tweet

This is a really funny, if pretty sinister, tweet. It’s been memory-holed; but I got a picture of it before it disappeared. Check it out. It’s the Tallahassee education establishment opening the kimono on who they really are just a bit. (You can click to embiggen.)

Now let me give you the background. Meet Shawn R. Frost and Rebecca Negron.

Rebecca Negron is a Martin County School Board member and the the wife of Senate President Joe “Schools of Fraud” Negron. You should know Joe Negron as the person who gives Kelli Stargel her marching orders for harming her own community.

Rebecca Negron serves on the board of a thing called the Florida Coalition of School Board Members. It was formed in the last couple years as competition for the long-standing Florida School Board Association.  It touts itself as “conservative.” But it’s not. It’s really just a platform for sustaining the old Common Core/Test-and-Punish Florida model; crushing traditional schools and teachers; and setting up morally fraudulent charter schools to profit.

The spokesman for FCSBM says “we” let Billy win

Shawn R. Frost, who goes by the Twitter handle @strategyshawn, is named as the group’s media contact/spokesman. He is the author of the memory-holed tweet above. Frost, Rebecca Negron, and the FCSBM are big supporters of “Schools-of-Fraud” and the starvation budget. Its part of their business plan, errrr, policy vision.

I did not know who Shawn was until a couple days ago; but he and I engaged in some good-natured Twitter trash talk Friday morning over Schools-of-Fraud. My election came up as a way of explaining to him that I believe my community elected me to fight his vision for Florida education.

Much to my amazement and flattery, Shawn seemed to know all about the circumstances of that campaign. He knew my opponent, the issues, that I ran on “change.” He even used the word “educrat” at one point. I got under his skin just a touch, and he started vowing to defeat me in 2020 through his awesome powers. My fingers laughed at him through a keyboard, and he responded by sending the tweet you see above.

“We let you win. Underestimate me at your peril.”

We let you win. Think about that for a second. He thinks he’s talking about me. But he’s really talking everyone who worked an early voting shift; every teacher who read and shared my writing; every young person sick of Shawn Frost’s education model who volunteered their time. None of that mattered. No late nights in Lake Wales. No handshaking in Poinciana. No sacrifices anybody made. That’s the soil of contempt from which the rancid Schools of Fraud grows.

I would love to show you the entire conversation. It’s quite entertaining. But Shawn very quickly deleted his tweets and blocked me. For this I blame myself. I told him at one point to “please keep talking” because he was being so helpful to what we’re fighting for. I should have screen-grabbed first.

For some reason, I was able to find and photograph the “We let you win” one above. It illustrates in one neat bow the arrogance, thuggery, and cowardice of Tallahassee’s education establishment — and Tallahassee as a whole.

They insult us all. All of us.

It’s worth noting that in one of those lost Tweets, Shawn Frost insulted Hunt Berryman. He was trying to diminish the accomplishments of the people who drove our campaign and who voted for me. So he called Hunt “boring.” And he implied that he was easy to defeat.

Let me tell me you something about Hunt Berryman.

He got stronger and better as a candidate as the campaign went on. He gave me as good as he got from me. He didn’t back down an inch. He put his money where his mouth was — with thousands and thousands of dollars of his own cash. He went all out to win. I respect him deeply for that. The two of us competed fiercely — the way this community deserves to have its politicians compete. We said tough things to each other about policy and morality. And we sweated it out day after day after day.

In the end, the public responded to the vision and energy of my campaign. But Hunt made us fight for every vote. There was nothing easy.  And I won’t have him insulted by some clown afraid to stand by his own Tweets. Moreover, Hunt has expressed willingness to keep serving through the capital sales tax committee. I thank him for that. I’m grateful. He’s a hell of a better man than Shawn Frost. And I think that whole cheap shot illustrates the unbridled contempt for all of us that Tallahassee has.

I couldn’t get the FCSBM to identify precisely the “we” that Shawn — as the FCSBM spokesman —  says let us win. The FCSBM twitter feed clarified that FCSBM does not, in fact, control local elections. That’s a relief.

The FCSBM twitter feed said, perhaps, Shawn meant “the royal we.”

They certainly got the “royal” part right. And that’s why there’s a rebellion coming to the palace.

 

 

7 comments

  1. Thank you for this. They must be exposed.

  2. Marcia Anderson

    Dear Mr. Townsend: The community you serve elected you, and I, for one, have witnessed your commitment to teachers, students and most importantly, common sense. Thank you. You are just getting into politics, and I will ask of you not to fall for the bait that they throw out to get you to respond in hopes to trip you. You are wise…you are our voice.

  3. Jan Smith

    To whom are you referring when you brand all of “Tallahassee” as some cowardly “education establishment”? If it is the Legislature, they do not live here. If it is the Governor, he was not elected by “Tallahassee.” When you engage in generalized name-calling and vague labeling, you are no better than your opponent. You would certainly have more credibility with me if you would more specifically identify the targets of your criticism. Thank you.

    • Jennifer S

      I think it is pretty clear that he is referring to the “Tallahassee Education Establishment.” So, not all of Tallahassee but a specific group of people.

      As for calling out individuals, Billy is probably the only politician I know who is willing to do it. He’s specifically mentioned Kelly Stargel, Neil Combee, Shawn Frost, Jeb Bush, and others across all of his social media platforms.

  4. I certainly hope that in your work with students you don’t promote using fallacies as rhetorical strategies. Assuming that all of Tallahassee is represented in one tweet by one person is the fallacy of composition. My 11th grade students, who also live in Tallahassee, could have told you that.

    • Things so interesting that you’re reading a school board members blog in Polk County anonymous teacher. Mr. Townsend is on-point and on-target. He has my support at the ballot box and obviously the majority of the Polk County voters. I’m laying odds that you’re not a Tallahassee teacher but rather another pawn for Shawn Frost.

  5. Oh please, Jan and Tallahassee teacher. Even we dummies down here in Poke County know that when Billy talks about Tallahassee that he’s not referring to the residents, students, pets and the pretty oak trees.

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