Tell school board to change shortsighted policy

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The current Wilson County Board of Education passed a restrictive public comment policy that limits the public from speaking during monthly board meetings.

We, as parents, teachers, school administrators and the community, deserve the right to free speech and the ability to comment during the monthly meetings held by the Wilson County Board of Education. The First Amendment, states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

As a parent, I strongly believe that anyone attending the Wilson County Board of Education’s monthly meetings should be allowed to share their opinions. No one should be required to preregister three days in advance or submit to the board in advance what it is you are wanting to discuss so they can approve or deny it.

In my opinion, we need to be able to go to this meeting and express our concerns and ask questions. Board meetings are the perfect forum to let our elected officials receive feedback from the people they represent.

In my profession, customer feedback is critical to have a successful business. If customers are not allowed to express concerns, share their ideas and ask questions, they will simply go somewhere else to do business. At a time when our schools are facing multiple challenges, it is important to have open and honest communication from all stakeholders.

Business writer Patrick Lencioni said, “teamwork begins by building trust…” Let’s start the process by restoring open communication. Contact your school board representative to request this policy be changed immediately.

Wayne Willingham


The writer is a candidate for the Wilson County Board of Education’s District 7 seat.