by Diane Payne
This month’s Board of Education Action Action Meeting featured administration PowerPoints that again failed to reflect the experiences and needs of those on the ground. Many of the seventy-four registered speakers testified to this lack. The Hite administration now requires Pre-K to Grade 2 staff to return to buildings on November 9th to prepare for the return of students on November 30th–in spite of still incomplete ventilation reports. COVID’s main form of transmission is through the air. People of color are statistically more likely to contract and to die from the illness. Many older District buildings with asbestos, mold and lead were unsafe for children and adults before COVID. Now staff, students, families, and community members are being asked to trust that the District gets this right. The neglect of the District has caused the illness and impending death of one teacher (that we know of) from mesothelioma. Failure this time will have immediate and devastating consequences.
The Board is down to six of the nine required members. Chris McGinley resigned in April, 2020, but Mayor Kenney has yet to reconvene his Nominating Panel.