I am disappointed to say that Richard Greene, the subject of one of my blog entries a few days ago, was appointed chair of the Buncombe County Board of Education last Thursday.
In June, he said he would do research over the summer about the idea, and he even told me, “I do not understand why the other board members are so resistant to the idea.”
In August, he was the first board member to speak after the public comment session. He denounced the proposal from left to right. What a surprising turn of events!
His appointment as chair is almost a sure guarantee that formal student representation and formalized student voice will not be in place on the school board for this term.
According to the results of the 2006 Kids Voting program, 55% of the participating students residing in his district DID NOT VOTE FOR HIM. While that is a relatively small margin (10%), the students who were concerned enough to vote, even though they knew their votes would not affect the actual election, did not want him as their school board representative. School board elections and the decisions of the school board affect students more than any other group of constituents, and their voice must be heard.
As you are aware, my project to add a student adviser has a lot of support from the public. Over 60 teachers from my school alone signed a letter of support; the Asheville Citizen-Times officially supported the idea; and countless others, including public officials, throughout the county supported it.
However, despite all of this, the school board chose to officially ignore their constituents – which also includes the county’s students – in August.