“This (NSBA) letter that went to President Biden was of concern to us,” Sprague told the nearly two dozen audience members at the board meeting at the district’s central office.
Board member Margaret Baker said “I did not agree with that (NSBA) letter being sent. Parents have a right to speak with us.”
Fellow member David Davidson said the NSBA letter left him “outraged.”
“It has a chilling effect on parents coming and addressing school boards about concerns they have about their child’s education,” said Davidson.
And while the public comment portions of recent meetings have been occasionally raucous — and saw the board ordering of audience members out of the meeting — this board event featured only a majority of the speakers leveling stinging criticisms at members.
Their complaints included student masking as well as the alleged teaching of critical race theory and concerns about the possibility in some school parents’ minds of future, mandatory coronavirus vaccinations at schools.
Others criticized the board for its handling of recent board audiences, which in September saw Hamilton Police officers remove a banner critical of the board and order an audience member to leave the building.
School parent Jennifer Mason told the board “it seems to be under the impression it has the ability to supersede the United States Constitution.”
“You all choose your positions on this board. Therefore, you have to listen to us whether you like what we have to say or not,” said Mason. “We all greatly look forward to the first opportunity to vote out every last one of you.”
Hamilton resident Dan Acton welcomed the board’s change in masking policy, but he added “the policy should have never been there in the first place.”
Sprague ended the comment period — which he extended by a few minutes to allow more comments —and then the board meeting by stating: “I appreciate everybody who spoke tonight.”