On Monday night, during a packed Waverly school board meeting, board members walked out during the public comment portion.

Let's just stop the story right here for a minute.

We don't need to know what the topic of conversation was.  We don't need to know the circumstances, except that it wasn't an issue of safety.


Talk about a complete and utter failure as representatives of students, teachers, schools and the community.  Talk about a complete and utter failure as decent, courteous people.

As soon as I heard from friends about the situation, I called it "unacceptable."  This morning, the Lansing State Journal says an attorney is calling it "inappropriate," and says the move violated the Open Meetings Act.

The LSJ also says that the crisis chairwoman for the Waverly Education Association, Gini Larson, was disappointed by the board's actions.

"I'm sorry that it went that way," she said, "I think the board should have listened to the community. It felt not only disrespectful but dismissive."

The LSJ notes that the board's actions that night seemed to violate a number of its own protocols.

Meanwhile, Board President Britt Slocum said the meeting turned into "mob rule," and that's why the police were called.

Those in attendance say the night's proceedings were orderly, despite running slightly over the 35 minutes allotted for the public comment period.  The LSJ article supports these claims.

The large crowd of parents and students came out in support of teachers who have been working without a contract for almost a year.

Despite board members exiting the meeting, community members and parents continued to speak, rallying on behalf of teachers, for an additional 20 minutes.

The fact that Waverly teachers have been fighting for a contract for nearly a year is shameful enough.  The board's actions were despicable and offensive to teachers and the community at large.

It's time to do better.  #GoBigRed

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