Polls are closing on election day as we write this, and if you’re a reader based in Bucks County, you know that the school board races have been particularly heated this fall. Over the past year, the conservative-leaning Central Bucks board has passed policies critics are calling anti-LGBTQIA+. The district has voted to remove books from the library that contain content deemed “inappropriate” and “sexualized,” as well as banning “advocacy activites” (vague wording targeted for including Pride flags and symbols of queer expression, though the board says it would also include “Blue Lives Matter flags, anti-abortion flags or any other flags that advocate on social policy issues”).
Josh Levandoski of the local indie rock band LEV does not live or work in Central Bucks, but as a teacher by profession, the debate in a neighboring area has fired him up. And in the band’s latest single, “Side With The Kids,” he makes it clear where he stands.
“School districts in Bucks County are politically maneuvering to silence vital voices of identity in their schools through policy, curriculum, and censorship,” Levandoski writes on Instagram. “This attempt at homogenizing the collective voice of diverse student bodies negates the very intention of public education, and is a disservice to creating an active, participating culture of critical thinkers…not to mention empathetic humans.
“In these cases, I side with the kids. They will be the ones to create the culture that is necessary to move forward.”
Engineered by Headroom Studios’ Kyle Pully and Danny Murillo and streaming now, “Side With The Kids” channels Pearl Jam in its infectious rock riffs and progressive political conscience. You can take a listen to it below, and consider supporting the single with a download on Bandcamp; Levandoski says all proceeds will be donated Rainbow Room, a community center in Doylestown, Pa. that provides a safe space for LGBTQIA+ youth in the local area.