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:
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.