Just a heads up if you plan to silently protest anything at a committee hearing in the General Assembly.
You can’t. Well, you can, but you might be threatened with arrest.
SB 337, NC Public Charter School Board, was discussed once again in a Senate Education Committee hearing this morning. As mentioned last week, SB 337 is a bill filed by Senators Jerry Tillman and Dan Soucek that is intended to remove oversight of public charter schools from the State Board of Education and put it in the hands of a new, independent entity comprising members handpicked by the Governor.
Last week there was an opportunity for public comment on the bill, but not today. Tillman explained that he had consulted with all stakeholders in drafting the bill and all who wanted to be at the table were included in the process.
Some members of the public expressed their frustration with Tillman’s decision to not allow public comment. Several citizens stood in the back of the room, waiting to speak. As it became clear there would be no opportunity for them to do so, two women tied scarves around their mouths.
The silent protestors were escorted from the committee meeting by the Sergeant-at-Arms. Patty Williams, who was with the group, said that the citizens were threatened with arrest. Read More…