How the Clarke County Board of Education conducts its meetings was front and center at the board’s recent work session. The focus was on a change in a board policy, BCBI, regarding public participation in board meetings. If a member of the public continues speaking after a three-minute time limit or directs personal attacks at board members, the policy committee recommends that person be prohibited from speaking at board meetings for three months.
After being posted on the website for weeks, the policy change generated only one email. That sole email was enough for board member Linda Davis to term the change “antagonistic” to the public and to oppose it. Another board member, Charles Worthy, said the change targets one person.
Board member Patricia Yager reminded Davis of the chaos that has characterized some board meetings and said that’s no way for the board to run its meetings. Linda Davis said the change shows the board isn’t “respecting the people who disagree with us,” while board members John Knox, Tawana Maddox and Greg Davis disagreed. Although she supported the revised policy at the policy committee meeting, board president LaKeisha Gantt said during the work session she wasn’t “comfortable” with the change.
The public can continue to comment on the policy change on the CCSD website. The board’s Apr. 9 meeting will be virtual, but those wishing to offer public comments may do so by emailing Lisa Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org. The board president will read the comments at the start of the meeting.
Interim superintendent Xernona Thomas told the board teachers are trying hard to reach and meet the needs of all students in the district, and not just academic needs. District officials have given out 85,958 meals in the past three weeks. In addition, chef Peter Dale and Emmanuel Stone, the community chef and culinary arts coordinator at the career academy, have given away 800 meals to CCSD staff. They are working with the Northeast Georgia Food Bank and plan to continue distributing meals every Tuesday.
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