December 16 School Board Meeting Summary

*****

Colville School Board Discriminates

Against people speaking out on the Non-Discrimination Policy!

I would like to thank everyone who showed up to endure the abuse by our school board. It was not an easy thing to sit through while the board showed a blatant disrespect and disregard towards the people attending the meeting. Your presence at the meeting was very much appreciated and while the board may not have any respect for us, I certainly have an enormous amount of respect for the people of this community. When we show up in numbers, it absolutely has an effect on the board even though they try to pretend it doesn’t.

The board refused to bring in more chairs for the people standing during the meeting.

The board refused to bring in more chairs for the people standing during the meeting.

Before the meeting started, the police were called. Two officers responded, and joked about the lack of rowdiness of the crowd. They left shortly after arriving.

  1. The meeting was held in a room too small for every attendee to fit into.  With standing room only, many people spilled into the break room and out into the hall where they could neither see or hear the meeting. Some left in disgust which is probably what the board wanted in the first place.
  2. When asked, President Sid Green refused to move to a larger room or to provide more chairs, which were easily available.
  3. There was no microphone, so the speakers were difficult or impossible to hear for those outside the meeting room.
  4. President Green made an announcement about public comments: “If you are speaking about the Policy 3211 on the transgender students, we are willing to hear from you on this topic if you did not speak at the last meeting on November 18th. If you spoke at the last board meeting and have a desire to speak on another topic, you are welcome to do so. “
  5. President Green told people they would not be allowed to applaud the speakers – Several times when people tried to applaud, he rapped his gavel – no Applause, no applause!
  6. This is only about a quarter of the number of people who were trying to listen from the hallway.

    This is only about a quarter of the number of people who were trying to listen from the hallway.

    Director Moore insistently tried to silence one speaker because he spoke at the last meeting, however, he was eventually allowed to speak.

  7. The board was so inattentive to the people speaking, that one person had to ask for the boards attention.
  8. After 8 public comments, the board went on with their regular meeting.
  9. When department updates were presented, the board was courteous, laughed and giggled with them, engaged in multiple conversations with them, and then the board themselves led APPLAUSE for the people. Yes, the BOARD APPLAUDED their own invitees multiple times. (This is not something they normally do – it was a show put on for the public.)

The mood of the public before the meeting was excited, friendly and upbeat with quiet anticipation, but after the meeting was outright anger at the boards utter contempt and condescension of the people in our community. This is the same board that is completely puzzled why they can’t get more attendees to their meetings when they are trying to pass a levy.

I have seen this same treatment of the public several times over the past 6 years. This board seems to do everything they can to discredit and discourage people in the hopes that these people don’t return to future meetings and it usually works. I sure hope this time the people will stand up and not back down.

I will post the complete transcripts of the meeting as soon as I can type them up.

A photo of the board ignoring and disrespecting speakers. Directors Sumner, Newman and Green are looking at their laptop computers during an impassioned speech about keeping our children safe from rape. You can even see Director Newman manipulating her keyboard. The elbow of the woman speaking is shown in the bottom left corner of the photo with the black leather jacket.

A photo of the board ignoring and disrespecting speakers. Directors Sumner, Newman and Green are looking at their laptop computers during an impassioned speech about keeping our children safe from rape. You can even see Director Newman manipulating her keyboard. The elbow of the woman speaking is shown in the bottom left corner of the photo with the black leather jacket.

The same directors listening to a board invited speaker. They have all turned in their seats and are looking intently at the speaker. Director Newman is even smiling.

The same directors listening to a board invited speaker. They have all turned in their seats and are looking intently at the speaker. Director Newman is even smiling.

Directors Ohrtman and Moore have also turned in their seats to listen to the same speaker.

Directors Ohrtman and Moore have also turned in their seats to listen to the same speaker.

Public Comments

The public meetings of our elected officials are FOR THE PUBLIC. That is why there is a public comment section during the meeting, to have a spot in the agenda where the public can can have a voice. While the board does have the option to limit your time, they CANNOT shut you down because of the topic you bring up. To prove this, several speakers talked about the Transgender policy, and the board sat quietly listening.

In future meetings, I would suggest that anyone who wants to speak, fill out one of the half slips at the table with the sign in sheet, present it to the board, and then the board HAS TO LISTEN to whatever it is you want to say.

PARENT MEETINGS

A parent spoke with me last night about getting some community meetings together with just the public where everyone can speak who wants to speak. We are hoping our community can coordinate together in finding ways to deal with the board in future meetings, or maybe discuss other options that we have at our disposal. I think it’s a great idea, and hope that others will stay with us on this topic so that our children won’t be bull dozed by a handful of apparent activists who have occupied our schools. I will be putting up a post when we have organized a time and place for the meeting.

Advertisements

Bully Petition – Transcripts of Public Comments from School Board Mtg.

TranscriptsThe school board held a regular meeting on March 26, 2014 to address the Bully Petition.  One of the things they discussed during the meeting is a survey that was taken at Colville High School. After the board discussed the survey, they turned to the large grouping of community at the meeting for input.

A few interesting notes about the meeting:

– Many ASB students showed up.

– While the room could hold quite a bit more people than it was set up for, I could not get any school board director to organize it so more people could sit down. I asked them to get more chairs because there were people standing up and people spilling out into the hallways. I asked Director Krista Ohrtman to help get more chairs so people could sit down and she said she wasn’t sure she had the authority do do that. I asked Sid Green for help and he said, “That’s not my job.” By the way, any director has the authority because it’s their meeting. I have seen many more people sit in that room than what it was set up to accommodate for this night.

In my opinion, the board sure seemed to be trying to keep people out of the meeting, or uncomfortable enough to want to leave. The bully incident was scheduled fairly far down on the agenda and didn’t start for nearly an hour. That means, the board left many people who wanted to speak standing for well over an hour. I consider this reprehensible behavior by the board because you never know when someone has a medical condition that makes it difficult for them to stand. The individuals sitting in the hall had a lot of trouble hearing what was going on in the room and weren’t able to speak. Seems like if the board wanted the discussion to be heard, they would have accommodated everyone equally, but that’s just my opinion.

Incidentally, I have since found that a person can do a “Point of Privilege” and ask the board to accommodate these individuals per the Roberts Rules of Order:

Point of Privilege: Pertains to noise, personal comfort, etc. – may interrupt only if necessary!

I also found this on the Attorney Generals page: http://www.atg.wa.gov/OpenGovernment/InternetManual/Chapter3.aspx#.VIBnlMlS9Rk

While the OPMA allows the public to attend all meetings, it does not allow for the possibility of insufficient space. Presumably, if a nearby location is available, the governing body should move there to allow attendance.

– As an FYI – I gave up my seat for someone else to sit in and sat in the hall for the meeting, so I wasn’t able to speak.

As always, I apologize for mistakes with anyone’s names.

School Board President Sid Green Ok (garbled) go on. (Inviting public comment). Paul?

Paul Brozik One thing I would say would be that – One thing that happened at the high school would be that when doing survey’s with the students is that for one, the teachers take them more seriously and the students take them more seriously to know that there really is an issue in the – possibly by doing this – by putting the (garbled – excessive audience noise on tape) complete.

Sid Green The whole idea is we put the survey out there, whether they take it seriously or not, we can’t force them. You know, we can’t sit behind them and say take it seriously. And you’re going to get that.

Student Plus isn’t the whole idea of there being an issue still kind of speculative at the moment? That was one thing that raised the concern in the first place.

Sid Green Whether there is an issue?

Sid Green That’s …

Sid Green You don’t think there is?

Student I personally don’t. I love all of my teachers, I interact with them amazingly. I have no problems. Continue reading