Thursday, August 5

Do not criticize the Wichita school board. It’s disrespectful.

From February 2013, and still relevant as a window to attitudes of many government officials.

When she was president of the board of USD 259, the Wichita public school district, Betty Arnold let citizens know the real purpose of board meetings, and how citizens should behave.

At the meeting, citizens had criticized the board for large and important issues, but also for such mundane things as the amount of the superintendent’s monthly car allowance. Arnold admonished citizens for speaking about things like this in public. It’s not respectful, she said.

Finally, after directing a uniformed security guard to station himself near a citizen speaker, Arnold told the audience: “If we need to clear the room, we will clear the room. This board meeting is being held in public, but it is not for the public, or of the public. And I hope you understand that.”

She then reminded the speaker: “Again, I am asking your comments to please be respectful. No accusations are necessary.”

This certainly lets citizens know the applicability of the term public when it comes to our public schools.

View video below, or click here to view at YouTube.