Second Community Forum Held

By: Tametria Conner Email
By: Tametria Conner Email

Another large crowd turned out for the second Meridian Public School District community forum held at the Wesley House.

The outpouring of concern was evident again at the forum designed to open the lines of communication between the community and the district.

Over 100 people came to express their views, but the atmosphere was a little different as many in attendance say it was a much more calm, positive and productive meeting than the first one.

"I just felt like there was dialog and I feel good about it," Meridian Public Schools teacher Ann Brown said. "School board members kept their word and showed up to prove that they are 'servants of the people' and willing to listen and work on the issues. And I wanted to give Mr. Kent a chance to maybe explain what he said because we want positive feedback. This was a very positive forum tonight. And I wanted him to maybe understand how we felt and let him clarify some of this statements."

Brown says many teachers were hurt by some of superintendent Charlie Kent's comments that he said were misinterpreted. Kent apologized and said that he is sorry if he offended anyone.

"If I offended anyone. I wanted to come back and apologize to them and say as I did which is 'let's get past this now' and do what we need to now for the children," Kent said.

Kent attempted to answer every question presented to him and there were dozens of questions. Many were trying to squeeze answers out regarding the accreditation situation and the alleged testing violation.

But both Meridian High School principal Vicki Hood and Kent say they cannot discuss many details because it's an ongoing investigation.

But there was also a balance of focusing on the positives and how many are coming together to try to put their heads and hands together to unite and create positive change for the district.

"The goal is for us to be on one accord and do what's best for the children," Kent said.

"I do. I think we've got some work to do, but I think we're on the way," Brown said.

The next scheduled community forum is July 14 at 6 p.m. at Wesley House.

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