I've just learned of a blog called Cheatham County School Board Watchdogs. I'm happy to see more parents and citizens paying attention to their local schools and communicating about what's going on. Welcome to the party!
The blog's first post is dated just weeks ago and already they've gotten the attention of the Cheatham County BOE which has had legal counsel demand certain retractions. The eight page letter also criticizes their anonynimity and calls them hypocrites and less than responsible citizens. I'm all for correcting factual errors and the lawyers make it clear the anonymous blog is a legitimate free speech outlet but it's interesting to me that the Cheatham County BOE would go to such lengths so quickly when a simple comment on the offending blog post could have done the same. The letter promises that the BOE will continue to monitor the blog for 'mischaracterizations, falsehoods and defametory statements'. Apparently, it didn't take long for these folks to ruffle a few feathers.
I'm not a fan of anonymous blogging but I completely understand the need for aninonimity in these cases. Retribution is a concern of parents when they attempt to speak up and make changes in the system or report abuses of the system. The smaller the system, the more entrenched the players, the more swiftly that retribution can be visited upon families.
I expect that during this first year these parents will learn a lot about what can and should be said on a blog vs. what can be discussed over the backyard fence. However, the initial misteps should in no way deter them from continuing to provide factual information on what is going on in their public schools. I would encourage them to find a way to include audio/video clips of meetings as well as transcripts where possible. People are busy now days and providing them a heads up will be a very valuable service to their community.
If you're intersted in what's going on in Cheatham County...subscribe to their Watchdog blog and provide additional information and opinion when you can.