At last night’s Board discussion (10.11.21), there were 5 sheriffs for the 4 people in the audience. After the session, as people went to speak with Board members or RCS staff, sheriffs closed in around them.
To our knowledge, no person has threatened any Board member or threatened to become violent in anyway. We are happy to preemptively condemn any such behavior. At this meeting, there were zero speakers from the public and not a single remotely questionable engagement of any kind.
So why are parents being monitored in this way? Why is the board proposing changes to public speaking at Board meetings which restricts engagement, discussion, and opinions from the public?
Does this seem like a Board that welcomes parental input?
Here are some of those proposed changes:
- Visitors must request to speak no later than 2 days before the meeting. (Current policy allows for same day requests)
- Speakers from the same organization should pick a single speaker to represent them (no such limitation currently). Comment: potential 1st amendment violation.
- Posters and signs are not allowed (no such limitation currently). Comment: potential 1st amendment violation
- The chairman can have a speaker removed if the speaker is making repetitive comments already made by other speakers. Comment: extremely subjective. Ripe for abuse. Potential 1st amendment violation.
- Must provide proof of Rutherford County residence when you request to be a speaker.
Comment: does this assume all information fit for consumption by the Board resides in individuals living in Rutherford County? This is absurd, and a potential 1st amendment violation.
The Board is making a clear effort to stifle the voice of parents. It doesn’t matter what your perspective, the new rules and the police intimidation techniques are disgraceful.
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