Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Richland 2 Board Meeting - the Fangs Came Out

Trustee Monica Scott

Tonight's meeting was one not to be missed! Thank goodness for Livestream.

I had registered to speak; then yesterday I canceled my registration because the Release Time for Religious Instruction item was a No Action Requested item on the agenda.

I watched from home. The first, usually brief, public session before going into Executive Session was not brief. Be sure to watch it.

The first item was to approve the agenda. Trustee Agostini made a comment and then made a Motion to remove Item 8.1 from the Agenda.

The fangs came out. Be sure to watch it. Discussion was lively and, at times, accusatory and unfriendly. Trustee Scott was dressed to the nines; not sure whether she had just come from a cocktail party or was headed to one after the meeting. 

Chair Trapp stated that a motion to remove the Item was actually a decision to kill the Release Time program. I disagree. The Motion was merely to remove it from tonight's agenda. Where did he get the idea that removing it was killing it? "Tabling" might be the equivalent of killing it, but merely removing it was not.

Item 8.1 was a No Action Required item on the Agenda. The trustees did not kill it. They voted 4-3 to remove it from the agenda. That's all they did.

Chair Trapp did a good job at riding herd on the mob tonight. He displayed his strongest stance as Chair since November. 

When he was challenged over having been one of three trustees to request the Release Time item to be on the agenda, he explained the Policy. My opinion is that, just because, as Chair, he and the superintendent create the agenda for the next meeting, why shouldn't he be able to be one of the three needed to request an item to be on the agenda? He is a trustee equal to the other six. 

Then came the absolutely best Public Participation segment I have witnessed in five years! Speakers were pro and con and because 21 speakers had signed up, each was limited to two minutes (not the usual three), by the decision of the Chair and the Superintendent. Several students spoke - and spoke very well!!! Rabbi Jonathan Case spoke again tonight and made complete sense.

The tide has changed. Whereas on previous nights, most speakers were in favor of Release Time, that was not the case tonight. Be sure to watch the Public Participation portion of the meeting. That portion starts at 1:29:13 on   https://livestream.com/richland2/events/10954556/videos/237555050 

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