Frisco parents and school officials sparred this week over whether public board meetings are for citizens or elected officials, highlighting a perceived lack of transparency and leadership within the district’s school board.
Parents attending Monday night’s regularly scheduled meeting of the Frisco Independent School District board of trustees said they immediately felt tension in the room.
“There was a lot going on last night,” said Mike Draper, a father of Frisco ISD students. “The school board had a heavy police presence in the room. It was a tense environment.”
During a presentation from a district employee concerning COVID-19 data tracking and protocols, the employee said, “I’m really excited. It looks like we may get a teenager-approved vaccination soon.”
Tensions escalated when Board President Chad Rudy told citizens, “Please keep the discussion down. We’re trying to get through our meeting tonight. This is our discussion.”
In the video of the meeting, a man makes an inaudible statement that prompts Rudy to say, “I’m sorry sir, this is our meeting tonight. Thank you for joining us tonight, but we’re going to continue our meeting.”
Parents in attendance and on social media took Rudy’s statement to mean the meeting was only for the board members, not the citizens.
One parent took time during the public comments to address what Rudy said.
“There was a comment made that this was your meeting,” Stephanie Elad told trustees. “I think this is our meeting, so I think that the parents and the taxpayers deserve a little more respect. This is our meeting.”
Draper also spoke at the meeting on Monday night.
Afterward, he told Texas Scorecard the words “our meeting” should never be said to parents by an elected official:
In the meeting, the school board refused to give any sort of indication of what it would take to end masking in schools. I hope people realize the huge problem we are dealing with in terms of lack of transparency and leadership with this school board.
“I encourage everyone to vote in the upcoming election and let them know that those are our meetings,” Draper added.
Elections for school board trustees and other local officials are on May 1. Early voting begins on April 19.