And now you can add assault to the list.
Sadly, I'm talking about our School Board.
At last week's public hearing, School Board rep Susan Evans thought she had been deputized to be in charge. After the meeting had finished, parents hung around, very dismayed by the lack of response to their concerns, and began yelling out questions.
School Board rep Keith Sutton - who was running the meeting because our real Chair, Kevin Hill, apparently couldn't be bothered to attend - chose to answer these questions, sorta. Using the microphone from the stage, he deferred and deflected -- rather than act like a normal person and walk down to speak with parents personally. After all, the formal hearing was over.
(On a side note, Chair Hill doesn't like parents - at all - and believes our demands are selfish so maybe it's best he wasn't there. Read this blog post for a little insight to his hatred.)
Anyway -- Sutton did nothing to control the situation or to appease the masses and, as such, Susan Evans saw her opportunity.
As Evans doesn't have an ounce of compassion nor any understanding of the very personal emotion of watching your children get forcibly reassigned (Evans' children had long-term stable assignments in the magnet system), she chose to argue with the parents in the crowd and explain how wrong they were. She placed the blame of their impending reassignment on staff and the student assignment team - even though this directive from the Board - which Evans supported - is the only reason parents are facing reassignment.
During this back and forth, as he certainly can't be outdone, Jim Martin chimed in with some mindless "I promise to listen" drivel. Surprisingly, he didn't mention he has a PhD.
School Board rep Deborah Prickett then took her turn with the microphone - asking parents about their level of content with the old Choice Plan. As the families in the audience were facing reassignment as a direct result of the Democrat's decision to abandon the Choice Plan, it was a very fair and appropriate question.
Not according to Susan Evans.
Evans proceeded to manhandle Prickett, wrestled the microphone out of her hand mid-sentence, and declared:
"This is not appropriate. This is not the purpose of the meeting."
I'm pretty sure it was very appropriate and very relevant to the meeting. Those parents in the audience took time to express their concerns about the education of their children and the impact of reassignment on their family yet Evans didn't think talking about it was appropriate?
Evans - who protested arm in arm with the NAACP and GSIW prior to her election - obviously has different definitions of what is appropriate - depending on who you are.
Evans can be seen in this video disrupting a public School Board meeting in 2010. (Watch for the green shirt/black sweater.) She is clapping in the background after her friends crossed School Board security lines, resulting in their arrests.
That sort of behavior is apparently appropriate in the Book of Ethics by Susan Evans. But not speaking to parents at a public hearing?
Now, it's one thing to urge on your friends in their acts of civil disobedience but it is something completely different when you physically put your hands on someone. (Sounds like a Kindergarten speech.)
You would hope this would be common sense to an adult. Apparently not.
Not only did Evans display childish and bullying behavior in her physical attack on Deborah Prickett, she managed to violate Board Policy about Harassment/Bullying.
But, does anyone care? What does Supt. Gainey have to say about the Board's behavior? What about Chair Hill? Will he continue to ignore the abhorrent behavior or will complaints be filed against Evans?
Evans' actions have clearly created a very hostile work environment for her fellow Board members. (What's next? A punch in the gut? Keith Sutton - possibly our next Board Chair - has already threatened to kick everyone's asses.) Evans, however, has also managed to create a fear among her constituents about being in disagreement while in her presence - an obviously dangerous combination.
So, do we, as parents and taxpayers, just continue to sit back and watch? If we continue to ignore the actions and decisions of this School Board, we will reap what we sow.
You and your family just might be next.