Central Bucks School District Wants to Pay a PR Firm $15,000 per month to Spin Its Divisive Policies

The Bucks County district set to pass a censorship and book banning policy Tuesday – after recently ordering all Pride flags removed from classrooms – now wants its image laundered. And for future actions too.
Image from Devine + Partners Central Bucks School District Communications Recommendations.

Central Bucks School District doesn’t have a messaging problem, it has a policy problem. But the right-wing school board definitely doesn’t recognize that, nor does the district’s superintendent Dr. Abram M. Lucabaugh. 

So while all eyes on Tuesday night’s school board meeting will be looking to see a foregone conclusion take place, a vote that approves a new library policy that the ACLU of PA, the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom, the Education Law Center of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania School Library Association, and the district’s own librarians and teachers have all warned will lead to censorship, de facto book banning, and an exclusionary and unsafe environment for LGBTQ students, there’s another potential vote on the agenda that may be just as important. 

Item 14C on the agenda calls for the approval to contract public relations services with Devine + Partners of Philadelphia at $15,000 per month from July 2022 – June 2023 (which doesn’t include out-of-pocket costs and subsequent professional fees to be billed separately).

“Controversies come and go,” the firm states in its proposal

That’s true. But what remains are policies that impact students, teachers, librarians, staff and parents. 

If hired, the firm will provide a “crisis communications team that is available 24/7 to provide counsel and assessment; develop strategy; formulate messages, talking points, statements and all manner of messages to specific audiences; serve as spokesperson (if necessary); and manage the response process to protect reputation, minimize further surprises and disruptions, and get the you back to business.”

They’ll be able to start immediately if the school board passes this new library policy. The firm is also ready to preempt future crises, which if we’re being honest, only happen as a result of bad policy. 

“This will become increasingly important as the District prepares to undergo future changes that have the potential to generate significant reactions from various segments of the community,” the firm notes.

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I can’t wait to see what those changes might be. Someone who works for the district suggested the social studies curriculum will be in the right-wing majority school board’s crosshairs next. 

The firm will manufacture a steady stream of narratives and messaging to to deflect, distract, and I’d say dupe people with. That may sound harsh, dupe, but if you were one of the few people to read Dr. Lucabaugh and School Board President Dana Hunter’s recent gaslighting OpEd in the Bucks County Courier Times and The Intelligencer newspapers, then you know that facts are not a priority under this leadership. And no amount of spin, even $15,000 a month worth, can change that. 

For more Central Bucks School Board Coverage

Right-Wing Politics And Moral Panic Driving Policy Targeting Central Bucks School District Libraries 

Central Bucks School District’s Draft Library Policy Overhaul Opens The Door To Censorship

Will Rage Trump Reason In Central Bucks Book Banning Debate?

The Status Quo Isn’t Working: We Need to Evict Hate and Extremism from Bucks County

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Cyril Mychalejko

Cyril Mychalejko is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bucks County Beacon. Read his columns on Sundays and follow him on Twitter.

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