School Board Meets Critics, Public at Town Hall Meeting - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/14/04

School Board Meets Critics, Public at Town Hall Meeting

Tempers flared and people confronted the Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education at a public meeting last night. It was the first time board members have met as a group with the community since the schools were placed on probation.

There were so many people at the meeting, there was an overflow room with a screen so people could watch. From 6pm right up to the final seconds leading to 8pm, people asked all kinds of questions. But some didn't get the answers they were looking for.

In the end, school board president--and recall target--Hugh Golson would like to think the district's first town hall meeting was productive. "The citizens asked some very frank questions," he said. "And I think this is something we need more of. There were some very good ideas and I think they need to be heard to get these people behind the district."

"This meeting covered a lot of territory but it didn't get to the meat of the problem," said retired teacher Sadie Brown. She was one of the people who pushed for this town hall meeting. She hoped some board members would take responsibility for their roles in the SACS investigation.

The board had its supporters. But brown has a feeling a looming recall process will cause real change. "I guess the recall will wake these people up," she said.

"I'm not going to worry about that," said Golson. "I got enough on my plate right now. I'll let others handle that."

Board members says they are committed to getting the district off probation. They'll take steps towards recovery next Monday at 3pm. There will be a public meeting with the board and SACS CEO Dr. Mark Elgard.

Friday, critics filed a recall petition against Hugh Golson, and yesterday papers were filed for the recall of DeWayne Hamilton. The groups pushing for recalls plan to file additional petitions this week targeting SuSu Cox, Daniel Frazier, and targeting Lori Brady in about six months.

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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