The school board meeting.

A few blogs ago, I posted one about how the information for the 6/18/08 school board meeting had mysteriously disapeared from the website where it is supposed to be listed for 72 hours before the meeting. This website here:

Which is found by following a link here:

Yesterday morning (the day of the meeting) I checked and it still was not up so I snapped a few more pictures of my cell phone showing the date and time and the website.

I suppose I ought to wipe all the fingerpints off my phone before photographing it but oh well, hindsight is 20/20 as they say. Later in teh afternoon yesterday, I called the number for the Needville ISD to see if the meeting was still on. The number found here:

If you’re wondering why I keep posting where I get my information from, its because I like for people to see exactly how and where I am getting all of the ammunition for our case. I think there is quite a lot of irony in there is a lot of defense for our side of the arguement to be found on the NISD’s own website.

So, back to the phone call…. after pushing the appropriate button to speak to a living person, my call was answered by a female. I suppose I could have asked her name but I don’t think it really matters. I said to her “Hi, I’m calling to find out if there is still a school board meeting scheduled for tonight. I looked at the website where it is supposed to be earlier and its not there.”

Maybe she was having a bad day or maybe she always sound rude and snappish but her reply was “Yes there is a meeting and it ison the website.” She sounded kinda pissy so I thanked her for the information and ended my call.

Like I said, maybe she was having a bad day……..or maybe the school district has caller ID. I used my cell phone which is teh same number I gave to Mr. Rhodes but maybe I’m just looking at things a little to suspiciously. She was probably just having a bad day.

As soon as I got off the phone I schecked the website and sure enough, it was there again. It was truly a miracle. You know the drill by now, I took some photos.

  Today we got the appeal information in the mail from Mr. Rhodes. We have to fill it all out and either mail, hand deliver or fax it back to the ISD administration. Maybe we’ll do all three just to make sure it gets there without getting “lost”. We had some questions so we took it with us to the meeting.

The meeting was scheduled for 7pm and we got there one minute before it started. Adriel stayed with his grandparents so it was just Kenney and I. As we walked up to the building, there was a man outside on the phone. He glanced at us and said to whoever he was speaking to “yeah, ok thanks for the warning” and hurried off inside. We glanced at each other and smiled. Maybe it wasn’t about us, maybe someone was warning him about boll weavils or something.

We walked into the meeting and there were some awkard looks from the folks seated in the room. You could tell they expected us to do something crazy. Maybe they thought we were going to start whooping and hollering and scalping everyone. We just smiled and made our way to the back of the room and sat down. Ms. Sniffin (the elementary schol principal looked scared as always) but we were polite as we passed her by. Its not her fault that we’re having to go through all this, she is just doing hat she is told.

As we sat, someone in the board announced that “if anyone wanted to address the board they had to sign in at the front table”. We still just sat quietly at our table and began spreading out papers and preparing to take notes. There was an awkward pause and then they started the meeting.

There was a littel girl there, probably about ten years old or so that couldn’t stop looking at us. She had that combined look of frighted fascination. I suppose they don’t get a lot of people that look like us in tiny little Needville. Kenney wore his typical black t-shirt and braids and I was dressed in jeans and a modest top. I suppose maybe the large water buffalo horn curls I was wearing in my ears were pretty interesting to her. I smiled at her and she quickly truned around. I’d like to think that as she grows up she will remember that eye contact and smile. Maybe one day she’ll have large holes in her ears and be open minded enough to accept other people no matter what they look like.

The meeting was boring as to be expected.  They talked about the roach and mouse problem they are having and other mundane stuff. The whole focus seems to be on state testing scores rather than on actually educating the kids. At least thats what I got out of tehemeeting.

Item 10 on the agenda was “Review of Dress Code for 2008-09”. They took their time getting to it and when they finally did, there was that brief awkward pause again. I was happily scribbling notes for a future blog and didn’t bother to look up when the board president asked Mr. Rhodes if there were any recomendations for next year’s dress code. Mr Rhodes stated “there are no review recomendations at this time” and the meeting quickly moved on.

After the meeting Kenney asked ms Sniffin about the appeal form we had recieved in the mail. We were not sure if we were filing a “Level 2” or a “Level 3” complaint. She politely explained it to us and then directed us to the board secretary for another question we had. There is a section on the form to fill out the information if someone is representing us at the appeal meeting.

We just wanted to make sure there was not a problem with attaching a seperate sheet of paper because we have more than one person that wants to represent us. Kenney walked up to where the board members were having refreshments up front and asked for the secretary. There was some confused milling around and finally someone came forward and Kenney asked his question. The paper was quickly handed off to Mr. Rhodes and he let us know what to do. 

 While he was explaining the forms, someone from the board introduced himself (I think he said his name was Mr. Janke). He did that obnoxious “I’m showing my dominance handshake” with Kenney and then with I. You know the one, where the guy squeezes too hard and holds on for too long. Maybe he was flirting. I might have giggled but I don’t know, I’ll have to check the recording.

Oh, did I mention I was recording the whole thing on my phone? No? Sorry, I guess I forgot that part. I love my snazzy cell phone and all its nifty features. Not that there was really anything worth recording but you never know.

We thanked Mr. Rhodes for the information and left. Then we had cheesburgers and laughed at how disconcerted they were at the meeting.

If the willingness to sit through a boring school board meeting for no good reason isn’t a good way to show our “deeply held religious belief” as they call it, I don’t know what is.


5 Responses to “The school board meeting.”

  1. mm Says:

    If Needville is such a joke to you, why do you want to move here? If you have to fight and make fun of the school board and principal, why would you want your son to attend a school they are in charge of? Are you going to look up definitions and call organizations every time your son doesn’t get his way?

    We have had citizens like this before….this attention you are trying so hard to draw to yourself and your poor son will do you no good! Please don’t flatter yourself into thinking we are afraid of you, amazed by your different looks, or trying to hide our meeting dates from you!!! Do you not realize the can of worms that will open if they let this one rule slide? “The whole focus seems to be on state testing scores rather than on actually educating the kids. At least thats what I got out of tehemeeting.” That’s right…that’s all you got out of it. Your focus is on a haircut…now tell me where that ranks in education. The scores are determined by how the students score on the tests, which is determined by what else….the education they receive!!!!!!!

    We are a respectable community because we obey rules and respect authority. We have a highly sought after school district because of the rules and how they are enforced. We didn’t get this status, which you call “rural”, by letting people push us over! With the indian background, heritage, etc, don’t you know the meaning of tradition, rules, RESPECT? Well this is Needville’s tradition! We live here because we love the town, the community, the traditions, and yes, even the rules. You do realize we are not here to cater to you, right?

    So take your dictionary, your snazzy phone, and your loads of free time, and move to a school who doesn’t care what the kids look like, dress like, or act like….and see what kind of education he gets. You’ll be fighting much more important things than just a rule in a dress code.

  2. thestitchwitch Says:

    I’m moving there because we own a beautiful piece of property there and last time I checked, it was my right to do so. I want my son to go to school there because that is the school we are zoned for. I would fight just as hard no matter what school he was going to attend if they did the same thing. Its not about my son “getting his way”, it is about his constitutionally protected rights.

    I would rather you not be afraid, I would rather the school board respect the laws put in place for teh protection of ALL people regardless of their religious affiliation. Please explain what this “can of worms that will open” means exactly. Perhaps I am missing something but won’t it mean that the school board will have to respect the civil rights of their students? How is this a problem?

    Test scores don’t always mean that the students are getting the education they need. It only means they have been taught to pass the standardized tests. I would think that the school board would be more interested in using their funds to combat the roach and mouse problem they are having rather than have to spend it on lawyers.

    My focus is not just about a hair cut. My focus is on the fact that the Needville ISD refuses to allow children of any religion that requires long hair on boys or children that wear religious head coverings to attend school there. This is illegal and wrong. How is that so hard to understand? I would hope that bigotry is something to be ashamed of, not proud of.

    I would like to believe that Needville is a respectable community, I really would. I hope that the majority of the Needville citizens are more progressive than the school board is. I like it there; it is quiet and peaceful and my child will get to grow up away from the bigger city areas around here and be educated in a high rated school district. We look forward to living on our own farm where we can grow our own food and see the stars at night.

    Respect is an important thing, you are right. It must be earned though. I gave them the respect of discussing this issue in private and providing documentation to prove that this is my son’s heritage and right. When they ignored the proof and chose instead to tread on my son’s rights, I saw no reason to keep this private any longer. I don’t expect anyone to cater to me, I expect them to obey the law just as I do. I would never attempt to deny someone their rights, why is it ok for the school district to do it? Again is bigotry something to be proud of?

    I will not move. I will not cut my son’s hair. I will continue to fight this and continue to post the progress of our fight for as long as it takes.

  3. Sarah Says:

    Hi “mm”. I bet the subject of their fight doesn’t even affect you,does it? Does it come into your home everyday and dissrupt your life? I seriously doubt it. Nothing angers me more when people who have NOTHING to do with this situation feel the need to write “lovely” comments such as yours. It proves you like drama,you’re nosey,and your self-righteous without the intelligence to back it up. I could see your opinion being usefull or valid if,IF,it involved you in any way. But I don’t see yours as valid or usefull at all. And why,you may ask,is mine? Because I know this family. I know their son. I ACTUALLY KNOW THESE PEOPLE AND I DON’T LIKE PEOPLE WHO SLING INSULTING COMMENTS AT THEM WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING THE GENERAL CHARACTER OF THEM. I’m backing their fight,as are many,many other people who love and care about them deeply. Why don’t you go comment on blogs of people you actually know?

  4. mm Says:

    Hello to you too Sarah.
    1. My home is Needville, so it does affect my home. My children, nieces, nephews, and numerous friends go to Needville school. So guess what, I know people too. You don’t like my lovely comments…“why the fuck can’t a five year old do the same in kindergarten?!?!” Wait, that’s not mine, that’s your friend’s. Let’s not be a hypocrite, ok?
    2. I’m dramatic, nosy, and not intelligent??? Would you rather your friend start this blog and no one respond, since responding to it means I’m nosy? I do believe your friend ASKED for comments, whether postive or negative. What exactly about you or her makes either of you intelligent? Ohhh, because I’m from “rural Needville” I must not have an education. Try a Master’s degree…yep, even dumb old farmers can learn.

  5. Sarah Says:

    mm,no where in my comment did I say anything about you being uneducated because you’re from “rural Needville”. She chose to use the language that she wrote on her own,I didn’t chose it for her,so I don’t know how that makes me a hypocrite. Especially since the way she chose to use the word “fuck” was not directly aligned with an insult to anyone. It’s an expression that a lot of people use,whether some like it or not. I cannot instruct her on her choice of words. Your children and family and friends may go to whichever school in the Needville district,but I still don’t see any proof of how it would affect them. I really don’t see how the length of hair on a five year old would affect anyone’s life but his own. If I saw proof of such an affect,I would understand your statement.

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