Wake County Schools

Wake school board rejects mediation in case against protesters

Posted January 18, 2012

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— The Wake County Board of Education has not changed its mind about criminal action against four protesters who brought a school board meeting to a standstill in June 2010.

Ann Majestic, an attorney representing the board, said Wednesday that the board members voted last week not to revisit the idea of mediation with the demonstrators, clearing the way for the Wake County District Attorney's Office to move forward with prosecuting them.

The four charged, including state NAACP President Rev. William Barber, were expressing their opposition to the board's controversial decision to move away from its longstanding practice of busing students for socio-economic diversity purposes for a student assignment plan that, supporters say, promotes stability and neighborhood schools.

Barber, Duke University professor Timothy Tyson, Rev. Nancy Petty and Mary Dobbin Williams were each charged with second-degree trespassing following the June 15 demonstration and were subsequently barred from school property.

Last year, the district attorney asked if the school board would be interested in mediation rather than pursuing the criminal charges.

Former board Chairman Ron Margiotta said in an interview last month that mediation would amount to nothing more than a "slap on the wrist" and that the four "crossed the line of civil disobedience" and needed to be punished.

With new school board members, the district attorney's office wanted to be sure that the board had not changed its position on the matter, Majestic said.

32 Comments

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  • fayncmike Jan 20, 2012

    "Great News - they were way out of line and it is sad that children were involved - Great example - something happens that you don't like - throw a public temper tantrum - way to go adults (???)
    donmar"

    Y'all just don't get it do you? The whole idea IS to be arrested. Go ahead and gloat over your loss. Either you don't have the foggiest notion of what's going on or you're just plain obtuse.

  • kermit60 Jan 19, 2012

    Glad they stood their ground. Anything less would have given some validity to the actions of the accused.

  • donmar Jan 18, 2012

    Great News - they were way out of line and it is sad that children were involved - Great example - something happens that you don't like - throw a public temper tantrum - way to go adults (???)

  • vraptor Jan 18, 2012

    the boe needs to send a message. commit crimes against us and we will prosecute. the should goto jail.

    the judge & jury needs to look at the arrest records of these folks and send them to jail.

  • fayncmike Jan 18, 2012

    "yep...it'll be a slap on the wrist but it will be a deterrent for the next crime of this type because he's already got strike one....
    ProzacDispenser"

    Uh, I don't think there is a three strike rule for disorderly conduct. I was arrested over and over in the sixties for civil disobedience. Nothing ever came of any of it. No record, no arrest jacket and no problem at all getting my NSA Black Badge. His arrest and hopefully trial is a win/win situation foe NAACP regardless of the verdict though guilty would be better.

  • Alexia.1 Jan 18, 2012

    While I think Barber goes overboard and blows everything out of proportion, I also think the reaction by the school board and government is equally out of line. So, he caused a disruption for the school board meeting. And? There are filibusters in congress, too. In this case, all they had to do is have the police escort them out the door and continue the meeting. Am I missing something? I don't agree with Barber, but it seems like he has the right to protest, even if it might get on the nerves of the school board.

  • walences Jan 18, 2012

    We will gladly raise funds to build a cell large enough for him.

  • FragmentFour Jan 18, 2012

    LOL - go for it! The thought of watching the school board getting shut down in court is enough to perk up the whole winter season. Yeah!

  • gunny462 Jan 18, 2012

    "Excellent, bring on the persecution, oops prosecution. NAACP will get a million dollars worth of publicity for free and a great stage upon which to air their grievances. I just love it!
    fayncmike"

    ZZZZZZZZ* uhh? ooh you mean as when they willfully disobeyed the law not once but what three times? And thats presecution? lol Go back to sleep and let real people handle this for you. Btw, look up Barber's house some time.. errr his mothers house.

  • LuvLivingInCary Jan 18, 2012

    yep...it'll be a slap on the wrist but it will be a deterrent for the next crime of this type because he's already got strike one....

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