Want to speak at a Franklin School Board meeting? Bring a photo ID

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Week by week the Franklin School Board gets goofier and more unpopular.

Free speech? What the hell is that?

Every board meeting has a community comment period. One would think it is what it says it is.

But here’s a note from the agenda for tonight’s school board meeting:

Community Comment

Participants under this agenda item must be residents of the Franklin Public School District or parents/guardians of Franklin Public School District students, and must limit their statements to three (3) minutes, with a maximum of 15 minutes for any and all comment.

The requirement pertaining to residents is a brand new stipulation.

I went back to the audio and video of school board meetings all the way to April. School Board President Mike Spragg never read “Participants under this agenda item must be residents of the Franklin Public School District or parents/guardians of Franklin Public School District students” while introducing this agenda item.

Why the change? It’s clear.

At the September 8th Franklin School Board meeting Franklin resident Evgenia Vasylenko got up to speak as she has done many, many times. Only this time she was immediately and abruptly stopped by Spragg who refused to let her comment. He objected claiming Vasylenko wasn’t a resident of the district. For the record she lives in the Oak Creek-Franklin school district and open enrolled her children into the Franklin district. The fact is Vasylenko has respectfully been a thorn in the school district’s side, calmly and passionately arguing in support of Franklin students by lobbying that masks be optional. I’ve seen and heard her presentations to the board. Her evidence has always been solid.

I believe Spragg and other school board members don’t like Vasylenko. She has been vocal in her opposition to the board, its policies, and the way it conducts its business. They don’t like that, and thus, don’t appreciate that Vasylenko would dare be critical.

Spragg should have simply allowed Vasylenko to have her allotted three minutes. What would it have hurt? What was Spragg afraid of?

Vasylenko is a model citizen. She was born in a village in Southern Ukraine in a family of farmers who made their living by growing and selling vegetables. Her father was also a mechanic, and repaired cars in his home garage. Vasylenko graduated from a university with honors and holds a Master’s Degree in teaching.

The school district has treated Vasylenko shabbily. Apparently it’s now personal. Cross paths with school board members that only want to hear accolades and have their rings kissed and you’ll have your speaking privileges revoked. The new residency requirement was designed to get back at folks like Vasylenko. That’s cowardly.

13 thoughts on “Want to speak at a Franklin School Board meeting? Bring a photo ID

  1. The administrative rule that only residents of the Franklin School District or parents/guardians of students can speak during the public comment section was always in place. Feel free to double check that with the school district. School administrators didn’t change a rule. It was always there. Did they start enforcing the rule at a suspicious moment? Yes. They did. At the moment when Evgenia Vasylenko stood up to speak, there were about 5 minutes left of the 15-minute public comment section. (See board mtg video). That’s barely enough time for 2 more people. Since Evgenia pulled her kids out of the Franklin district, she was not allowed to speak. Therefore, 2 actual residents who are husband and wife got a chance to talk. They were very upset with the mask policy and virtual learning. If Vasylenko was allowed to to speak, she would’ve taken time away from those residents. That’s not fair. Is it odd that the School Board didn’t start enforcing the rule until Vasylenko? Yes it is. But the rule was always there.

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    • I believe you’re mistaken about the rule always being there. I’ve read numerous agendas for board meetings over the past few months and before and the specific stipulation about residency was never there …until now.

      No such stipulation has ever been enforced…until now.

      At the beginning of the Sept. 8th meeting Spragg said everyone who registered would have a chance to speak. Then he pulled the rug out. To blame Vasylenko for potentially robbing two parents the opportunity to speak is ludicrous. She is not the villain here.

      So no the rule with residency requirement hasn’t always been there. It’s plain and simple. This punitive action has been instituted as retaliation against two individuals for sure to prevent them from having a critical voice at open meetings.

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  2. Why would she want to talk if she has no kids in the school? Her opinion, as wrong and evidenceless as they are, at this point become irrelevant.

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    • 100% wrong. She is a voice and a strong one at that. She is fighting for all children in Franklin and needs to be heard.

      So nice to hear from you, Tom. But why here and now? We’ve posted a gazillion things. Never any support from you here.

      Maybe you should just stick to chatting on the hateful Left FB Franklin page which you seem to relish, even though they constantly beat the s***out of you.

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  3. I have yet to see the mayor or any of these council members step up and apply some pressure to this issue in fact they can’t even be reached on the issue. 15 minute time limit is flaming hot garbage! These school board members signed up to make the tough decisions. Now that time has come to own those decisions and 4 members are hiding behind a 15/5 min time limit and silencing opposing viewpoints on technicalities.

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