School board imposes stingy time limit on speakers

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Thank you to The Wilson Times for your editorial regarding the school board and citizens’ right to speak. I am a new resident of Wilson and a retired career educator. In all my years in education, this policy is the first of its kind I have ever encountered.

My wife spoke at the August school board meeting and was the only speaker that night. Imagine her surprise and mine when she was stopped mid-sentence because the 3-minute time limit had passed. No other speakers, only a police officer standing at her side. Three minutes.

Let me offer some interesting time facts. The world record for the 1-mile run is 3:43:13. The average person spends 5-10 minutes taking a shower. It takes 7-10 minutes to boil an egg, and the perfect piece of toast takes 3 minutes, 36 seconds. The recommended time spent brushing your teeth every morning and night is 4 minutes.

The average conversation rate for English speakers is about 150 words per minute. That means you would be allowed 450 words if you speak to the school board.

There are 24 hours in a day, which is 1,440 minutes. One week equals 10,080 minutes.

One week has passed since my wife spoke to the board and neither my wife nor I have heard from the superintendent or school board regarding her presentation. If speakers are allowed 3 minutes, this 10,080-plus minutes with no response would mean 3,360-plus people could have spoken to the board.

Our children deserve better. Open the doors and listen to the people, school board members and superintendent. Respond to the citizens of Wilson County.

Ned Olinger