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WCBOE Misinforms the Public and Tampers with the Record of Board Meetings

If a citizen wants to participate or attend a school board meeting, Wicomico County Board of Education posted three different pages for the June 8, 2021 board meeting. On these different pages, it creates great confusion. The details don't match, and these pages have conflicting participation information. In addition to Facebook, there's only one web page that states citizens can attend in-person at the 101 Long Avenue meeting room and the other pages do not. Also, there is no link to the meeting agenda on any of these pages.

This is the WCBOE main Calendar Page where the public primarily visits to obtain meeting information, and the only option is to for the public to attend with Zoom.


https://www.wcboe.org/Page/2#calendar1/20210607/event/9670



On the Monthly Meeting Page, the only option is for the public to attend with Zoom.


https://www.wcboe.org/Page/5242



This page notifies that the public could attend in-person:


https://www.wcboe.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=4&ModuleInstanceID=6939&ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=12996&PageID=1



The June 4, 2021 post on the WCBOE Facebook page notifies the public that they could attend in-person. However, not everyone is on Facebook, follows their page, or receives alerts.



Also, WCBOE has retroactively manipulated the record of past meetings all the way back to December 8, 2020 to deceptively indicate that they have had hybrid/virtual meetings where citizens could optionally attend in-person, when the actual meeting announcements said that citizens could only attend board meetings using "Zoom."


https://www.wcboe.org/Page/5249





Attempts were made to attend in-person "hybrid/virtual" board meetings in January 2021 and March 2021, but were physically denied access and met by security.



https://www.delmarvaptc.org/post/citizens-denied-public-comments-by-the-wicomico-county-board-of-education-at-monthly-meeting


Email requests by citizens were sent requesting physical attendance and were denied. We have multiple citizen emails requesting the same:



What does this all mean? Was this to conveniently avoid facing parents in-person, or is this just an oversight? You be the judge.


Since the board is finally opening their meetings, the long-term solution is for them to stick to in-person attendance, along with clear and consistent announcements on all of their pages. Also, it is important for them to place a link to the meeting agenda for all board meeting posts. Lastly, we would like to see them allow for more than 10 public comments, as the public needs consideration and an opportunity to speak for their convenience and not the board's. None of our other municipal offices, such as the Wicomico County Council, will "throttle" the number of speakers during their public comments, even if they have to sit there all day or night. They let the public speak, and so should our elected board.


Please contact our officials below to express your concerns and opinion of their conduct.


WCBOE Board Members


Donald Fitzgerald - dfitzger@wcboe.org

Gene Malone - gmalone@wcboe.org

Allen Brown - abrown@wcboe.org

John Palmer - jpalmer@wcboe.org

Tonya Lewis - tlewis@wcboe.org

Michael Murray - mmurray@wcboe.org

Ann Suthowski - asuthowsk@wcboe.org



Fellows & Editors

June 7, 2021 Copyright DelmarvaPTC.org



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