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School Board Ignores Constituents

Written by Tempus Fugit Aug 12, 2006

On Thursday, July 20, I held a public forum and press conference in downtown Asheville. My goal in doing so was to show the Buncombe County Board of Education how many people actually support having a student adviser on the school board.

Members from the media included WLOS-TV, 570 AM WWNC, and Mountain Xpress. All of the preceding ran stories on my press conference, and although reporters did not attend, the Asheville Citizen-Times ran two stories about my forum.

The next day, I was a guest on a morning radio show on 96.5 FM WOXL for about an hour. I was able to meet with the hosts before and after the show, and they are very supportive of my project. During the show, we talked about my activism in the community, the project, and other things. I had a great time.

On Thursday, August 10, I spoke at the school board meeting. Five board members spoke against it, and the others seemed to agree with the ones who are against it. The chair told me that I may still come to the meetings to talk about it, but they more than likely will not take any more action on it. Some of the ones who spoke out against it put words in my mouth and acted as if I did not address issues that I had already addressed.

The one who said he would support it was the first to speak against it, and the other one who said he would support it did not even say anything. They claim that they are active in the school districts they are supposed to represent when most staff members never see them.

I do plan to keep on attending school board meetings whether I speak or not. By the time the last half of most board meetings come about, there usually is no one from the general public there. Therefore, they can say whatever they want and no one but their support staff will even know. Anything else that is controversial is handled in closed session.

On a side note, I will soon be working with the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners to add a youth adviser or youth council onto their board. It certainly has enough support from the Commissioners, so it would likely pass.

And on another side note, I will soon be blogging about my project and daily high school issues on the Asheville Citizen-Times website. Only six applicants from the public were given an opportunity to have an online blog.

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