Following a pause, another voice spoke out in the crowd, and Rivoli said she would speak for that person. Phillips said she couldn’t do that, and shouting filled the room until parent Elizabeth A. Cuddy took the microphone and moved to the podium.
Cuddy said “this is not about the name change” and that many more people beyond those at the meetings have concerns.
“There are people who are afraid to come out and show their face and speak because they’re afraid their children will be retaliated (against,) they’re afraid they won’t be employed by the district,” she continued. “There are many, many more people, so please, I promise you, it is not just the people who show up to the meetings. There are many, many people intimidated.”
Judy Garrett, a district employee, next came to the podium and defended Phillips and what he has done for the district, noting his efforts to advocate for more state aid. One person then asked Garrett if she was on the list to speak, which prompted more shouting.
“Order! This is a really, really bad example for our children,” Philips said, which prompted some claps from the audience. Rivoli shouted that Phillips was a bad example.
Phliips then said the 15 minutes set aside for public comments was up, and added that “we would love to extend the time, but we’re not going to do it when people are shouting with each other,” saying he would talk to people about their concerns. As Rivoli said their group didn’t need to be lectured, the board voted to adjourn the meeting.
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