Community Forum: Different Focus

By: Tametria Conner Email
By: Tametria Conner Email

A community forum at Wesley House did not involve the school superintendent, had less people and the mayor took the floor.

""We are going to move forward as a community and I promise you that," Meridian Mayor Cheri Barry said.

Barry made it clear that the administration would be involved in moving the district forward. Several residents voiced their point to the mayor that it is crucial for school board candidates and the advisory committee to know the current policy, dissect it and find out what's missing and what's need to be strengthened.

"I think that's a good step and a step forward that the community needs. I think (Mayor Barry) was very open minded. To only be in office 3 weeks, I think the community should give her an opportunity to show what her plan is," concerned grandparent Ben Amos said.

Facilitators wanted to move past the finger-pointing and focus specifically on the children of the Meridian Public School District.

"I think we really need to get to know who are leaders are and what their expectations are and what OUR kids will be faced with this coming school year," said Amos.

Parents, teachers and residents sparked discussion as a large group, and afterward, three break out sessions focused on elementary students, middle school students and high school students.

"We all as concerned citizens should be willing to speak out and have a positive attitude, not a negative attitude. Because if you have a positive attitude, that means you are looking for something different and are interested in moving forward," Amos said.

The next community forum will be a follow up to questions raised and allow for discussion.

Coordinators say school handbooks, school board policies, and the state board of education standards will be analyzed. Also, there will be discussion concerning the zero tolerance policy and police presence in schools.

That meeting is Aug. 4 at 6 p.m. at the Wesley House.

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