Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bridgeport School Board Meeting October 27th, 2014

Even though I do not have children in the Bridgeport Schools I still try to follow what is going on in the school system here since this is my hometown and I did attend school here.  With all the talk about the problems lately concerning the schools I decided to attend my first school board meeting.  I was disappointed by some of the things I saw there.  I don't know all the facts, I don't personally know any of the people involved, so I will keep my opinion to myself on many of the items brought up at this meeting.
There are a few things though I would like to comment on:
These problems did not happen overnight, not even over just the last three years.  They have been building for many many years.
The DREADED 3 minute rule for public comments!  I think the more diplomatic way to handle that matter would have been to politely say something like "We request that you keep your comments to 3 minutes so that everyone will have a chance to get up and speak".  The way that it was handled by the board president was not tactful.
Marti Sageman, I believe you love this community and especially the schools. You have served your community for many years, but maybe it is time for you to step back and let others step in and lead.
I was very impressed that there were so many students that showed up at the meeting and of the ones that got up to speak.  It is always good to see young people care and get involved.
I was impressed to see so many residents come to the meeting!  I would love to see that kind of interest in our township government meetings.
One thing that I found distasteful, disrespectful, was when some audience members got up and walked out while the superintendent was speaking at the end of the meeting.  It appeared to me that one of the audience members was raising his arms and motioning for the audience members to get up and leave.  Was that meant as a protest against the superintendent or just disrespect towards him, toward the board?  I found it disrespectful to all of us that were attending.  There is no room for grandstanding by anyone when there is so much at stake.
If the residents, students, teachers, want to be heard and be respected, to work on solving the problems, you need to start with listening and showing respect and a willingness to work together.
There are so many problems in the schools it is going to take a lot of work, a lot of cooperation, to straighten them out.  It is going to take time and patience.
Good Luck to the superintendent, the board, the staff, the students, the parents, in solving the problems that the school system is facing.

On the agenda was:
- High School Principal Recommendation/Appointment which begins at about 3:40 into the video.
- 2013 Audit Presentation by Yeo & Yeo begins at 4:35
- Brucker Roof Discussion begins at 32:20
- Staff and Student of the Month Recognition begins at 33:55
- Special Education Update begins at 42:18
- Martin G. Atkins Elementary Update begins at 59:25
- Martin G. Atkins Middle School Update begins at 1:08:55
- High School Update begins at 1:15:50
- Citizen Participation/Public Comment begins at 1:25:20 and lasts for about 1 hour.

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