by Diane Payne
The Board of Education saw its first real pushback at this meeting. Student protestors, upset at the vote on metal detector policy, took over the meeting. The Board left the room and did not return, leaving the public participants wondering what was happening. The Board then took an unprecedented action which may have serious legal ramifications. Democracy is not always neat and orderly. How the Board responds to the messiness of passionate voices will shed a light on how much “local control” really exists under a mayoral-appointed Board. Details below.
All nine members of the Board of Education were present as well as student representatives Alfredo Pratico and Julia Frank. (All meeting agendas and materials can be viewed on the SDP website; videos of previous meetings can be viewed by scrolling down on the BOE homepage and clicking on Watch Previous Board Meetings.)
Ten APPS members were present, but only one had the opportunity to testify. Seven others were unable to deliver their public remarks to the Board. The room was filled to capacity, and the energy of engagement was palpable. A total of 48 speakers were registered to speak, but only 12 were able to deliver their remarks.
The meeting commenced with a beautiful student performance from the Central High Jazz Combo. As usual, the talent and confidence of these student performers was inspiring and a stark reminder that the battle to preserve and improve PUBLIC education is a battle worth fighting.