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Opinion: Letter to the editor

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I have been attending Columbia County school board meetings for months, and I have seen disturbing patterns.

The school district tried to ignore parental concerns. After months of trying to get school leadership to either remove obscene material from school library, or at least give parents option to opt out their children from reading these books were ignored, a parent read excerpts from books during public comment at the school board meeting. Initially, school board chairman tried to stop her from reading the content. He allowed her to read when she pointed out that the SD allows our kids to read these books.

There were a few changes at next school board meeting. 1) The public attendance to the meeting room was limited. 2) The school district moved public comments portion of the meeting from before ‘executive’ session to after. 3) The school district cut off streaming public comments, so the community was unable to watch/listen public comments part of the meeting.

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The school board changed public comment requirement twice in a half year period. Initially, those wanting to speak during public comment portion of the meeting completed and turn in speaker form before the board meeting started. When more parents spoke up on various issues, the school district required parents to turn in completed speaker forms 15 minutes prior to the commencement of the meeting. Shortly thereafter, the school district revised the policy with even more restrictions to include requiring public to submit speaker forms 24 hours prior to the school board meeting.

The SD leadership appear determined to make it as inconvenient as possible for parents to participate and speak up at school board meetings. It would be a refreshing change if they would put the same level of efforts to investigate the subjects and practices the parents have addressed to the leadership.

YeSun Wiltse
Evans

6 COMMENTS

  1. Remember, Board members are elected positions. As each Board member comes up for re-election, a concerned parent needs to step up and run. That will net change. With enough Board members, The Superintendent may be changed as well. If they are expecting a lot of public comments at meetings, they have to apply limits or they would never get anything else done. Same at commission meetings. Difficult to talk unless you have advance planning.

    • I agree. I am also not a fan of school leaders permitting legally obscene material that would otherwise be a felony if not for the library exception within the GA Obscenity Law into school libraries for minors to have access.

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