Sunday, January 27, 2013

January 15, 2013 School Board Meeting Public Comment

I spoke at the January 15, 2013 Fox C-6 School Board Meeting during the Public Comment session. I thought it would be helpful to share with the community what I presented to our school board. Please share this with your friends and neighbors so they can be more aware of some of the issues going on within our school district and why it is important that they attend school board meetings, contact their school board members and voice their concerns.

The following text is what I read to our school board members at the January 15, 2013 board meeting. When I finished, I was met with a standing ovation.

Over the last several years I have attempted to encourage you to do the right thing and you have repeatedly failed to do so.  I have invested thousands of hours into researching how our school district operates as well as that of other school districts across the state, and across the country.  During which, I have gained a tremendous amount of information and knowledge.   Much to my disappointment however, I have come to the realization that the school district that I grew up in and loved as a child is not at all what I thought it would be when my children began attending.  We have a lot of great teachers in the district, however, the leadership and school board has stifled their abilities to do a great job – even made them fearful for their jobs if they were to express their opinions.  Tell me, is this how a school district should be run?
I have requested for our community to have board meetings video or audio recorded due to the fact that our board minutes are vague or not always accurate.  I have requested that school board meeting information packets be published online prior to school board meetings or after board meetings along with the minutes so our community can be more informed and involved in what is going on within our district.  Our school board policies even require that board minutes be accurate and complete and without the board meeting information packets they are not.  I have requested that school board member contact information be placed on the district website so our board members would be accessible to the community.  All of these things are done in other school districts.  Why can’t our school district do these things?  I have never received an answer from our school board as to why these things cannot be done.  Our superintendent has informed me that this information is not on our website which I am aware of and that is why I have been asking for it to be.
It is my hope that you respect others in our community that may speak at this evening's school board meeting and that the individuals in our school community refrain from making defamatory comments in online forums in the coming days as has been done to me after I have spoken at previous school board meetings.  Those who are making the defamatory comments have no business teaching our children, running our school, etc. if they are employees of our school district.  I believe that they are, because no one other than those present in this room at those past board meetings had knowledge of who was present and what was said.  They are simply playground bullies.  Our district has a no bullying policy but it appears that it does not apply to school officials.

It is clear that you have embarrassed not only our school district and but community as well.  Our district is not as well respected or as academically advanced as you tout or would like to believe.  You may complement each other here and pat yourselves on the back with the thought that you believe that you are doing a great job.  However, a growing portion of the community does not share your same point of view and neither does the community of our peers in surrounding school districts.  I respectfully request that our current school board members resign and that past board members do not seek re-election.  There are administrators that should resign as well so our school district and community can get a fresh start towards building a new and improved school district and one that we can truly be proud of.

Thank you!

So, how did Dianne Critchlow's secretary/school board secretary document in the board meeting minutes what I said at the Fox C-6 school board?
Rich Simpson - Requested more board information on the district website.
My comments were straight and to the point. But they weren't disrespectful. Not at all like the comments that were being posted about me online.

If anyone were to read the board meeting minutes sometime in the future, there was little to no evidence of what concerns I brought to the school board that night. This is how the community has been kept in the dark for years making it easy to give the appearance that things are going great.

And, since the school district has not responded to my requests to audio record board meetings, there's no other proof of what was said at the meeting. That's why I audio record the board meetings that I attended.

Since it was school board appreciation month, the following was recorded in the board meeting minutes:

Dr. Critchlow thanked the Board for their dedication and leadership to the District. 
The Board was recognized by various schools in the district in recognition of National Board of Education week.

You can download a copy of the board meeting minutes using the link below:

It was good to see so many concerned parents and citizens in attendance at the meeting. It sent a strong message to our school board and administration that the community is now aware of the fact that there are problems in our school district.

Three parents spoke at the meeting. Voicing concerns with the Fox C-6 school board brings with it the honor of being chastised in online forums by those who believe they are untouchable in our school district and want to hide the truth from the public.

However, this time, the defamatory and derogatory comments and name calling in online forums began during the day before the meeting even started. Their comments were clearly meant to intimidate anyone who was considering speaking at the board meeting.

The community should be quite concerned with the fact that there are people in our school district who think they can make open ended threats in hopes of keeping people from voicing their concerns to the school board. But, from what I have learned over the last several years, it appears to me that this has become standard operating procedure for our school district.

How did I know about these comments? I have been monitoring the online forums for more than 2 years ever since the first defamatory and derogatory comments were posted about me and my family. Comments were posted online about me only hours after I spoke at the December 2010 school board meeting. Since then, there have been numerous posts of defamatory, slanderous and vulgar comments directed towards me and others who have voiced their concerns about our school district.

Is that the type of behavior that the community expects from a National District of Character?

The last time I posted on the forum was January 11, 2011. That was more than 2 years ago! Yet, there are those who believe I still post on the forum. That's what happens when you voice your concerns with our school board!

ALL of the 18 comments that I posted were made between November 2010 and January 11, 2011. My comments were statements of Fact and weren't defamatory or derogatory. 

I was providing facts to the public since the school district was hiding the information from them by poorly documenting board meeting minutes. In fact, I would highly encourage our school board to find out who it is that has been posting the defamatory comments that others have stated were made by me without any proof that I made them. I believe their investigation would incriminate several directly associated within the school district and that would not be good for them.

It is quite obvious to the community that many of the defamatory comments being directed at myself and others who have voiced their concerns are being made by administrators, board members or their friends and family. All of their prevaricating is finally catching up with them and it appears that things are starting to spiral out of control for our school board members and administrators.