Harkers Island, N.C.
TO THE EDITOR:
The Carteret County Board of Education’s local attorney, Neil Whitford, announced in a News-Times article on the MaST innovative high school’s case on Sept 9 that the BOE has retained a large law firm out of Raleigh. He went on to state this law firm “Tharrington Smith has assigned a team of attorneys to the case and they have been intensively working on the defense since the case was first filed.”
The BOE is perfectly fine with spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on their teams of attorneys, in an effort to stop the enrollment of the 50 children who were allowed to apply to the freshman class in the spring - the same BOE who suspended their enrollment due to “funding is-sues.” Yet when that funding came through from the state July 1 with plenty of time to allow their enrollment, they still denied those children’s applications.
The BOE is fighting against these children so hard they have a dedicated “TEAM of attorneys” and are “INTENSIVELY working” to deny entry to this school to the 50 kids who applied? There are 50 openings and 50 kids applied. No one would have been denied. (One of their arguments in the past was it is wrong to the applicants who are not accepted.)
Their argument now is that the funding was only for one year. Welcome to world of annual budgets, y’all. It is the same budget system the rest of the schools operate on, and they haven’t halted enrollment at any of the other high schools. In addition, Chairman McLean states he “is uncomfortable with the applicants.”
You know what Mr. McLean? I am uncomfortable with the CC BOE. I am uncomfortable with the reckless disregard of the education of the kids that currently attend MaST, and the 50 children that now want to enroll, as well as the future children that are heartbroken that this school may not be an option for them. I am uncomfortable with the fact that no one on the BOE besides Ms. Ehlers can publicly state a sound reason why they are for or against this school.
You were all elected to be a voice for your constituents. Not one of you besides Mrs. Ehlers is holding up that oath. Not Ms. Chadwick, Ms. Wheatley, Mr. Jenkins, Mr. Godwin, nor Mr. Day. At least you do struggle to come up with some excuses, Mr. McLean, but they are unacceptable and are downright unethical. When collectively asked to state your reasons for not seconding Mrs. Ehlers motion, there were only blank stares and crickets in that room.
Every single one of you made a commitment and took an oath; heck, it’s even part of the school system’s mission statement that you are “committed to creating opportunities for all students to do their best and to succeed.” In case you were not aware, that includes the current and future students at MaST. Stop spending our taxpayer money on a “team of attorneys” and let our kids continue to do their best and succeed. Do the job you were elected to do already.
ROBIN ANDREWS MEYER