About 15 years ago, I sat in a classroom in a one-horse, no-high-school town in New Jersey as the clock struck midnight. I was a reporter covering a school district reorganization meeting that had begun at 6 p.m. Friends a few miles away texted, wondering why I had to stay at the meeting until the building was empty when I’d already been there for six hours. The best I can explain it is to reference the famous joke in Europe about why the sun never set on the British Empire: Because God couldn’t trust the English in the dark.
Thanks to the state’s Sunshine Law, these school board meetings had to be public. So, the meeting was mostly a filibuster, designed to wear down anyone with children in the district’s public schools who would be interested in being there but also need to get home at some point. It was also designed to wear down the young,