Friday, August 26, 2005

Giles County still has freedom of speech.

This is an astonishing account of how a School Board handled two elderly citizens who attempted to address the meeting concerning the extension of the superintendent's contract.

Barrett said he attended the meeting with the intention of reading from a state attorney general's opinion, questioning the legality of extending a school director's contract. He said he made every effort to be placed on the meeting's agenda.
When an item on the agenda came up that would extend Jackson's contract one year, Barrett asked to speak. Gonzales, who is chairman of the Giles County School Board, did not recognize Barrett to speak because Barrett was not listed on the meeting's agenda.

In response, Barrett asked why he could not speak.

"Mr. Gonzales called a recess and left the room to call the police," Barrett said.
From the Maury County Daily Herald.

I've been in a few public meetings in my life, including a couple that got ugly, but I cannot imagine an incident where the best option was calling the police instead of letting two citizens (elderly at that!) speak their piece.

Ben Cunningham reports they were found not guilty by the jury. I should certainly hope so.

No comments: