Local News

Durham School Board Rescinds Public Comment Plan

Posted February 25, 2005

— After a long and tumultuous meeting Thursday night, the Durham School Board decided eventually to rescind a recent plan that would have limited public comment at meetings.

The plan that was rescinded would have limited the outbursts and protests that have plagued past meetings. During Thursday's meeting School Board member Regina George-Bowden, who stormed out of the last meeting after yelling at other members, tried to clear up confusion about a draft document on the plan.

"This is not what we came up with in our four meetings," George-Bowden said.

Fellow member Jackie Wagstaff agreed.

"This document is a fraud that was brought before this board," Wagstaff said.

The public outcry over the policy that limits public comment to agenda items started before the meeting.

The discord continued when the gavel dropped. One parent challenged the policy, that's designed to promote courteous and respectful public comment. A police officer escorted that parent from the room.

School Board chairwoman Gail Heath said despite the problems, the board is making progress.

The board did not adjourn Thursday's meeting until after midnight. Board members will pick up where they left off at their next meeting on March 9.


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