Hiding Behind the Letter of the Law

So the Huntsville City Board of Education just finished a meeting to discuss a Human Resources report and a “business contract,” but the meeting wasn’t broadcast to the public, and it wasn’t recorded in any way that is accessible to the public.

The meeting was scheduled at 11:30am this morning and was completed by 12:00pm, just in time for lunch. It was finished just before teachers, on an end of the year work day, were allowed to take a break for lunch.

So the only official record of this meeting were board meeting minutes which won’t be available for another month, and, I assume, the Huntsville Times. Thankfully, Crystal Bonvillian does an excellent job of capturing the details of the meeting. I hope that she was able to be present and that she posts her report soon. There are a district full of nervous teachers and administrators waiting to hear what HR decisions were made today.

(I wasn’t able to attend as I was spending the morning swimming with my kids on the first day of summer.)

When I asked why the meeting wasn’t being broadcast or recorded, I was told all of the district’s video equipment is at the VBC for the live broadcasts of the high school graduations.

Gosh, if only someone who attends the board meetings had access to an iPad.

iPads at Board Meetings


Oh wait. There’s one. And with all the millions Dr. Wardynski has spent on technology this year, I’m sure that there were at least 5 other iPads at the meeting today.

Certainly it wouldn’t be intimidating if the superintendent was the one doing the recording of the meetings. Nothing Dr. Wardynski does is ever intimidating. When he visits a single classroom for extended time once a teacher has said something critical of his policies, I’m sure that couldn’t be considered intimidating, could it?

The Board of Education is deciding the future of our district in as near to privacy as is legally allowable. When someone asks questions, they have security threaten to remove that person, which isn’t legally allowable, but they’re doing it anyway. They then have the Director of Community Engagement call that person a “threat” in the press.

Good way of getting the community engaged there, huh?

When a board member was asked why the meeting wasn’t being broadcast, that member’s response was, “special called meetings don’t have to be.”

Actually, according to the Open Meeting Law, the board is not required to record or broadcast a meeting of any kind. But neither can they restrict a meeting from being recorded as they have done in the past.

The real question here isn’t why wasn’t this meeting broadcast, but rather, why is the board and the superintendent attempting to operate in as clandestine a way as is legally allowable?

What are they trying to hide? What decisions are they ashamed of?

Those are the real questions.

Perhaps we’ll get a bit of insight once Ms. Bonvillian posts her report later today. Goodness knows the Superintendent doesn’t like to answer questions.

"Children see magic because they look for it." --Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Jesus' childhood pal.


  1. I was there and could have recorded the meeting because I did have my Ipad. You will have to provide a lesson very soon.

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