In one of her first official acts as the new Chair of the WCPSS School Board, Lindsay Mahaffey made the unilateral decision to cut school board meeting attendance in half, effectively removing any chance for in-person attendance by anyone other than BOE members and support staff and select speakers.
While this might seem like an innocuous move, those who are familiar with this board’s agenda, Chair Mahaffey in particular, realize this move is done to further shut out parents who disagree with their policies, and to inoculate the board from dissenting opinions. Mahaffey and the rest of the board are well-known for shutting down parents, going back to harmful neighborhood reassignment decisions, ignoring parental uproar regarding math curriculum, and extending shutdowns that have led to tremendous learning loss.
This board loathes diversity of thought, as evidenced in their votes over the last 8 years. There is no room for cognitive variance. Their track record on even the most controversial issues is to vote 9-0 on nearly every issue. Rarely do we see robust debate. Even more rare is board member engagement with parents whose children will be adversely affected by their decisions. I can’t think of a single successful organization that so uniformly votes together without the hint of deliberation or dispute. They regularly contribute to each other’s campaign coffers to keep their power strong, and their votes tidy.
Another reckless decision just made, left our school children huddled in the cafeteria as high winds took out the power leaving them with no heat as snow and ice poured from the sky. The weather service advised people to stay indoors but WCPSS treated this life-threatening situation like business as usual. Parents were left scrambling and once again, frustrated with the poor leadership decisions which directly put our children in danger. The News & Observer quoted a staff member about how this decision threatened her life.
“I almost died,” LaShonda Haddock, the magnet program coordinator at Millbrook High School in Raleigh, tweeted Monday. “Getting to work … power out on Wake Forest Road … drove right through 3 feet of water that I couldn’t see … big truck hit a puddle that blasted on my windshield … MY WIPER FELL OFF… “When I got to the teacher parking lot I sat there crying for 10 minutes.”
The Wake County School Board continues to sit in its ivory tower, ignoring the best interests of school children, parents and staff. They might not want to hear from us, but we will speak anyway, and loudly, when it’s time to vote in November 2022. Please visit my landing page at steveforschools.com to learn how you can partner with me in giving schools back to families.
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