Check out the underside of this photograph of the agenda for the Conway College Board assembly Tuesday night time. Do you see what I see? A listing of “Future Conferences,” together with luncheons. It was Friday’s 11 a.m. luncheon assembly the place Conway College District Superintendent Jeff Collum compelled a mother or father of a kid on the elementary college the place the occasion passed off to go away as a result of he mentioned there was no assembly. But not less than a few of the board members have been already current, and the district had notified the information media, together with me, of those “Future Conferences” prematurely, as required by state regulation.
Immediately, we talked with Jay Bequette, the varsity district’s legal professional. He contended the gathering was not a gathering. So board members met at an elementary college, and we’re presupposed to consider they dined and sure talked with mother and father however by no means one another about college issues?
Bequette mentioned the assembly wasn’t a gathering as a result of board members didn’t focus on college enterprise or take motion and wouldn’t be allowed to take action even when they’d wished. However wait, what if mother and father attending the occasion wish to focus on a faculty observe that they like or dislike with a pair board members? Do the board members simply zip their lips?
And if this wasn’t a gathering, why did the board listing it as such on the agenda, copies of that are offered to the general public?
Bequette says it was no extra a gathering than it will be if board members all went to the identical soccer recreation. However the possibilities of the board chatting with one another about college enterprise are far much less probably at a soccer stadium with screaming followers than if board members come collectively in a faculty as they do for his or her scheduled lunches. Additionally, P.S., soccer video games are open to the general public, so the analogy falls aside right here.
“It was an occasion,” Bequette mentioned. “It was not open to the general public.”
However different mother and father have been there, and the particular person kicked out — not for poor conduct both — was Julee Jaeger, a mother or father of a scholar in that faculty, one who carefully follows college board information and has been crucial of the board’s current makes an attempt to make transgender individuals use the bogs that correspond with the intercourse listed on their start certificates.
Was Jaeger focused due to her advocacy? That actually appears potential. The district had instructed me that I, a reporter with no baby nonetheless within the Conway College District, can be welcome to attend. Why not Jaeger, a citizen journalist and social media maven?
If Bequette is correct, what’s to forestall board members from speaking with one another about college enterprise, controversies and the like at these non-meeting conferences? The district has refused to document these gatherings because the regulation requires. So, it’s completely as much as the board to be trustworthy and clear. I’ll allow you to ponder that idea.
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