To the Editor,
I attended the Nov. 18 special school board meeting. There were around 100 people in attendance, 40 of them students of the Warren County R-III School District. Nine people …
To the Editor,
I attended the Nov. 18 special school board meeting. There were around 100 people in attendance, 40 of them students of the Warren County R-III School District. Nine people spoke to the board on the issue of proposed budget cuts for the 2020-21 school year. There was a current teacher representing the staff, another teacher whose job was on the proposed budget cuts list, a retired teacher, two current students, a couple of recent graduates of the district, and two parents. All gave what I thought were informative on-topic speeches.
The board’s response to those in attendance was in the form of prepared statements, along with a show of graphs on a screen. Only one board member gave a response addressing what was presented to the board by the public. The same member asked the board to use this as an opportunity to partner with those in attendance to find new ideas and alternate solutions to budget issues. The rest of the board’s response to that appeared to be that they dictate, not communicate.
I have been on numerous boards including the Warren County R-III School Board, The Warren County Planning and Zoning Commission, the Warren County Historical Society Board, and am currently on the Warren County Extension Council, so I have seen large attendance at other meetings. I have never seen a crowd so well behaved and courteous. This was a perfect opportunity to show the 40 students how democracy is supposed to work. Instead the board choose to show the students and those in attendance how to not listen to their own students and the taxpayers.
The board’s actions did not demonstrate the proper way of doing things. I was so embarrassed, disgusted, and just plain mad. If the FFA students would have treated the board with that kind of disrespect, I would have demanded those students apologize, but those students have been taught better manners than that. I only hope the board finds their manners and apologizes to the students and patrons.
I know we all do not think alike, but if we will not listen to each other, we are doomed to failure. The students of Warren County R-III School District are the losers. I ask each member of the board to look deep into their own heart and tell me where I am incorrect. The students and community deserve better. You are better people than that.
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