Guilford County Schools Returns To In-Person Public Meetings

Guilford County Schools Returns To In-Person Public Meetings

4:30pm Jul 14, 2021
The Guilford County Board of Education reopened public meetings for in-person participation and public comment on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. Screenshot: KERI BROWN/WFDD

The Guilford County Board of Education held its first open public meeting this week after closing in-person participation more than a year ago because of the pandemic.

There are now new rules in place. For one, fewer people are allowed inside. Fifteen people are selected to be attendees through a lottery. And, rules for the public comment period have changed. It’s 30 minutes, and not everyone who signs up is guaranteed to be able to speak. Speakers are selected based on when their requests are received.

At Tuesday's meeting, participants expressed their thoughts on critical race theory, with some saying it should be incorporated into the curriculum. Others said they were worried about it creating division.

Security was also on the minds of some community members. Cynthia Hammer of Greensboro addressed the board at the podium.

“You have a guard at the door, metal detectors, an identification check and police officers out in the parking lot," says Hammer. "How safe you all must feel. What a privilege it is to have such a secure place to gather and meet. I was wondering why the children of Guilford County do not have the same privileges.”

The district says it added more law enforcement and other safety measures during school board meetings after seeing an increase in vitriolic emails directed at the superintendent and some staff over the past few months.

Guilford County School officials say they hope to receive more local funding to make additional security upgrades throughout the district.

*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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