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Re: “Tell school board that you deserve the right to speak,” In Our Opinion, Saturday:
So, the board wants to take away the sign-up sheet at the board meeting. That is sad and so wrong in many ways. If people take the time to attend the meeting then by all means they should be able to speak or ask questions.
Parents come with concerns and observations to enlighten board members. Where else is there to go? Without public input, the board members might not learn of particular issues. When you speak, say what needs to be said in the three minutes you are given. It is important that board members get information from all sources and not just a limited few.
When I was attending school board meetings, I could pay to have a copy of the agenda sent to me. Not everyone will want to do that due to cost, but I wanted to read it over and know what was going to be discussed. If I felt the need to speak, then I would sign the sheet at the back table of the boardroom the night of the meeting and I would be given three minutes to ask my questions or make my comments.
Several years ago we fought hard to get the school board meetings televised. We didn’t cower to intimidation or excuses. We continued the fight so the public would have a chance to watch the meetings and try to stay informed.
Take a stand and speak out now to preserve this right to sign up at the board meeting and speak. Call or write the board members and send letters to the editor to protect this policy. Don’t let Ms. Fitch and the attorneys intimidate or deny the people’s right to speak at a public meeting.
These are elected officials who are supposed to represent the people and listen to their concerns and not try to stifle them. Keep the sign-up sheet at the meeting.