Renita and Joe Bonadies stand up for citizen and parent rights before the Midland Public Schools Board of Education, Oct. 17, 2022.
by Patrice Johnson
Attend a Midland School Board meeting on the third Monday of the month, and chances are you’ll see Renita and Joe Bonadies stride to the podium and direct polite yet pointed public comments to the members of the Board of Education. Every other Tuesday at 9:00 a.m., you’ll find the Bonadies at the Midland County Board of Commissioners meeting. The third Wednesday of each month, they often attend township meetings. Thursdays, Renita joins Michigan Fair Elections Zoom at Noon.
What’s driving this married couple of 10 years to all this civic activism?
“Joe and I started over a year ago after seeing how much is going wrong in our society,” Renita said. “We dug in and learned all we could in areas like education, local politics, and state level election issues.”
“We are retired and have time to do what many can’t,” Joe added.
“We stand and speak because we believe God has called us to do this for such a time as this.” Renita said, her voice soft, yet unmistakably firm.
As with many supporters of MFE, the Bonadies decided to become involved after the 2020 election and the lockdowns. “We were losing our freedoms on so many levels,” Renita, also a new precinct delegate, recalled.
Joe, an introvert, is a 30-year analytical chemist and problem solver, turned consultant, from Dow Chemical. Renita, a retired chemist, worked 20 years as a computer programmer and 12 years as a tax preparer. She describes herself as a “Patriot Grandma."
“We had a deep, soul-searching conversation,” Renita recalled, “and we decided we had two choices: We could live comfortably and let someone else fix things, or we could take a stand and do the right thing for this community, state, and country.”
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Renita Bonadies' Script: Public comments to the Midland Board of Education
October 17, 2022
Good evening. This is my 9th month to speak and 15th month to attend these meetings. I, along with many others, have tried to shed some light on a variety of topics including, Bylaw abuses, Freedom of Information Act, Open Meeting Act, personal health choices, lack of transparency of this Board and Superintendent and the agendas being pushed by you and your community business partners.
It has been quite a journey as I dug into the education system that exists in this district and all the way up to the State Board of Education. I was very disappointed and disgusted to find how the education system I thought was teaching our kids about the basics to become healthy and knowledgeable graduates has instead become a system to destroy and abuse these children on many levels.
I would say that the individuals on this board probably ran for these positions with the best of intentions and with the children in mind. It seems that something must change the focus of elected officials once they become part of the system. Whether it is the money and influence of the community business partners or the money that was thrown this way from the plandemic, the outcome is not very encouraging.
But I would like to thank all of you for your time and the recent transparency. The agenda to put one group of students and an ideology above all other students has become quite clear. There is really only one group that has received excessive spending, their own coordinator and advocate and plenty of resources across the board.
School is to be for the betterment and education of ALL students. Not just for those that fit a certain narrative and agenda. When will the schools get back to teaching the basics? The amount of time, energy and money I have heard about over these past months make it very clear that only a couple groups matter most. The rest are to just stay in their lane, be quiet and let you collect the education dollars because they attend MPS. It always seems to be about the money.
It is for these reasons that I fully support the parents that are standing up to take the three positions on the School Board, Mindy, Sara and Jimmy. It is time for the others to step aside.
Finally I have a scripture about the children and I believe relevant to those who have taken an oath to protect the children:
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”
And a reminder for all of us:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.