Monday, March 21, 2005

Durham School Board Eliminates Open Public Comment!


The Superintendent
Originally uploaded by PEDRO_.
This was the scene last Thursday night after the Durham School Board voted to eliminate Open Public Comment from the School Board meetings.


In a 4 to 3 vote the Durham School Board eliminated all Open Public Comment at School Board meetings. This vote is simply the latest attempt on the part of the white members of this board to silence their critics. The Gange of Four, as they have come to be known, would have the public believe that there are more opportunities than ever before to address the School Board. They point to several new subcommittees where citizens can speak directly to board members in a small group setting. Don't be fooled by this propaganda. You may indeed go to these meetings but the entire board will not be there. Only selected board members go to these meetings. They listen to what you have to say but they are then free to ignore you. And that is exactly what they do. By no longer being able to address the entire board citizens have lost the opportunity to a free and open hearing of their problems. These subcommittees give the apprearance of more openess but in reality they allow the board to funnel dissent into a black hole where they don't have to deal with it if they don't want to. A hearing before the entire board, where ALL of the board members are present, allows for both black and white members to hear the grievence. The entire board is then aware of the problems and the minority members have an opportunity to have a say about how the problem should be addressed. The Gang of Four specifically denied the Chairmanship of any of the subcomittees to Jackie Wagstaff. With the elimination of Open Public Comment their attempts to stifle desent are now complete.

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