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Media asked to leave First Coast community meeting (rough draft)

When I arrived I wondered about the heavy police presence. Apparently they were there to keep the media out.

One of the first questions asked was why was the News4Jax van asked to leave. The response from Paula Wright was something like, well lets keep it in house for now, besides a bunch of you have smart phones and twitter and the like.

Susan Cooper-Eastman of the Folio and Rhema Thompson of the Times Union made their presence aware and pointed out they they were invited and told it was a community meeting.  

Rhema Thomson is now reporting that the media was asked to leave.


The media, however, did not get the chance to hear the next steps in resolving those issues. Despite being informed by several parents in attendance prior to the meeting that it would be open to the public, reporters were asked to leave midway into the discussion by school officials, who said that it was a closed meeting.
Do you know why people invited the media? It's because they went to the district first and felt ignored. It's not people's first instinct to call the Times Union or the TV stations they only do when they feel there is nothing left for them to do. Kicking them out makes it seems like the district has stuff to hide.

5 comments:

  1. I head from another reporter from the Times Union about being kicked out of the meeting as well and it was clear she was not happy about it. Classic tone deafness from the district, angering the media, even one as feeble as our local media, is not a good long term strategy. The more they try to hide the more questions will be raised.

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  2. Maybe they were asked to leave so they would not hear the lament of a parent who lost a child while Brennen sat by and did nothing when she asked for help.

    Or hear the deception of Vitti as he said 'resignations' had not increased under the tyranny of Dr Brennen. That statement while technically true was intentionally misleading. People with college degrees and careers in education will try not to end their own careers and go sell shoes when confronted with a rouge administrator. What they will do is put in transfer requests. The number that needs to be addressed is how many teachers have transferred since Brennen arrived. That number is insanely high.

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  3. I'm surprised the TU was asked to leave and not just Folio Weekly and news4jax. The TU manages to spin everything, so that Vitti looks good. Were they seriously worried that the TU might write something honest (negative)?

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  4. Why was the meeting set up By Paula Wright?
    Why was Vitti and his entourage present?
    Why was the media THROWN OUT?

    I suspect community's attendance at the School Board meeting was key. All those concerns made part of public record. On Video! Documentation that can be used in the future for possible litigation against DCPS?

    The meeting at First Coast was a no brainer, as is future meetings....anything to keep this off the record. They know what Brennen is doing, and they don't want the specifics on the transcripts or video of school board meeting. So they set up meetings at First Coast, kick out the press, and let you vent 'off the record'. After that, it's just hearsay, kind of like Brennen's comment about FCHS parents being 'vile' and 'liars'. What is said at these meetings can all be denied, like Brennen denied saying what he said, even though over a hundred people heard it.

    If you want to see Vitti and the District squirm and actually do something quick...keep going to the School Board Meetings and get on the 'Record'. If you do this you will also notice your community meetings cease to exist, because those meetings are no longer effective damage control. Try to get 2 to 4 people, different people, at each of the meetings until things are acceptable. And not just a new principal, but also things like the Code of Conduct issues, long term alternative school placement, expelling those who pose an obvious threat to the safety and well being of other students, not funding the 8th periods resulting in grossly overcrowded electives, etc, etc.

    Get a dedicated crew. Pull in some retired educators, and pound one issue, every meeting, until it is FIXED. You could be very effective. This 'crew' can ultimately put the power back in the hands of the community which is where it should be when we elect these clowns. No offense to Ms Wright. She seemed sincere, but I wonder if it was suggested to her to call this meeting for the reasons I have already stated.

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  5. I want to know how and why the press were asked to leave a meeting when public officials were discussing problems with citizens. How could this be a closed meeting?

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