06/07/11 — Board member: Speak up on school concerns

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Board member: Speak up on school concerns

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 7, 2011 1:46 PM

One of the most frustrating things John Grantham has encountered in his 16 years on the school board is a cross between anonymous complaints and people who won't follow through on them.

Sometimes, he said during board comment at Monday's meeting, teachers approach him with their concerns but then are afraid to go public.

"I think a lot could be learned if people would get the courage," he said. "If you have got a problem with your school or the whole system, there's strength in numbers."

Grantham said he often encounters educators who will bring something to his attention. When he investigates further, he is told that "everything's fine" at the school.

"Nobody wants to make waves," he said. "You can't make any changes, though, if you don't make any waves."

Grantham said whether it's a local concern or something broad enough to alert legislators, nothing will ever improve if people don't band together and speak out.

"If you as teachers and administrators, if you have a problem that needs fixing, that's within your power to fix, the very least you can do is call all the board members, have your friends call," he said. "If you don't give your name, you can't make a difference."

Board member Arnold Flowers said he agreed with Grantham, encouraging educators and citizens with concerns to bring them to the board's attention.

Dr. Steve Taylor, superintendent, said his office has an open-door policy and responds to concerns that come in.

"Typically people don't call and tell us what a great job you're doing, but they'll call and tell you if they find fault," he said.

Taylor said the district makes every attempt to meet the needs of all students, but certainly there are always ways it can improve.

"We do look at the issues and hopefully we can resolve them," he said.