Dear District 200 Board of Education,
On Oct. 3, you will host the fourth Imagine Community Conversations meeting regarding the Long Term Facilities Plan, currently a $145 million project for the first three of its five sequences.
In the past, these have been informational sessions where presentations are given and then feedback is elicited, but only in writing — not to be shared, unfiltered, with the community.
Why have community members not been supported to give feedback, and ask questions, in an open forum? Where is the “conversation”?
How can the community trust this school board and this administration when voices have been muted and silenced and no space created for the community to have a conversation?
Last November, an online racist incident sparked a true community conversation via open microphone. This facilitated community members to both listen and be heard by fellow residents.
Surely, if we can thoughtfully and respectfully discuss such an important and hot topic as race, we can do the same for this Long Term Facilities Plan.
How can board members, who were elected to represent the people of this community, glean insight from their neighbors, when all feedback given at these meetings has been filtered? How can board members claim that this is a transparent, democratic process when questions are not allowed to be asked for all to hear, and when comments are not allowed for all to hear?
I urge the board and the administration to allow questions to be asked, and comments made, in an open-microphone forum on Oct. 3. Otherwise, this meeting will be just another example of faux transparency and faux community engagement.