Editorial by David Morgan- Time and again the Buncombe County School Board did everything it could to shut up one of its own members, Lisa Baldwin, at its latest meeting. It was a truly pathetic display of mob rule.
The representatives on the board are supposed to try to look closely into school activities and expenditures and to monitor what is going on. They were elected to do so by and for the tax payers of the county and for those who send their children to the government schools. However, they obviously are not interested in any meaningful discussions of any potentially controversial items that may not reflect favorably on the Buncombe County Schools or themselves.
In our lead story this week, we discuss in detail a good bit of what happened at this last meeting. (Part 2 will follow next week.) The gist of what happened was that the School Board Chairman was more than happy to see that those who attacked Lisa Baldwin on whatever she said had ample opportunity to do so in whatever vituperative manner they chose, and when Lisa tried to respond, he immediately shut her down.
Board member Amy Churchill showed no restraint and became increasingly inebriated by the exuberance of her own hostile verbosity in an incredibly loud and vindictive manner in attacking Baldwin; Chairman Bob Rhinehart did nothing to stop this display. However, when Baldwin tried in a calm and quiet manner to respond, he once again immediately shut her down. She was unable to respond at all. (Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRpEE_K-ybI and watch 1:32 to about 2:04 if you want to see a good bit for yourself.)
In addition, Gannett’s daily newspaper did nothing to correctly inform the public about what had gone on. The subhead of their page one article said, “Members square off over vouchers, funding.” What they should have said was, “Members pounce on Lisa Baldwin for speaking out.” The rest of their article goes on to try to belittle and make light of Baldwin and her positions and to try to give the hostile remarks of former board member Jan Blunt substance and attention. Indeed, far more space was devoted to Blunt’s accusations than was given to Baldwin’s information. And Blunt is no longer a member.
The school board has demonstrated that it is not the least bit interested in listening to nor discussing the issues Baldwin wants to bring up for discussion. They are willing to rubber stamp whatever comes along. If it’s controversial and not flattering, forget about it. If the message is not favorable, kill off the messenger, however it needs to be done. Watching this school board in action makes one wonder, “what is the speed of dark?”
See Roger McCredie’s story: