I am a Haven parent and attended the School District 65 board meeting on Monday, April 18.
As noted in your reporting of the meeting, the YouTube live feed went down partway through the meeting – during the end of the speech on behalf of a Black and Hispanic educator from Willard expressing her concerns with the new principal, and for the majority of [Haven teacher Amber] Evey-Schmidt’s statement.
As soon as the audience was made aware the YouTube livestream had been stopped, myself and others in the audience asked if she could wait until the feed was fixed.
School Board President Anya Tanyavutti said, “We do not wait when there is a technical issue” or something of that nature. Then Superintendent [Devon] Horton left the room right before Evey-Schmidt was to begin speaking. Again, someone from the audience asked if she should wait for Horton to return, and [Tanyavutti] again said, “No, the meeting needs to keep going.”
A bunch of us recorded Evey-Schmidt’s comments, myself included. With her permission, I have posted it on YouTube and she has granted permission for it to be shared by the Evanston RoundTable as well as other media outlets. It can be seen at https://youtu.be/GWc6H8tADeY.
I searched today, Sunday, April 24, on the District 65 website to see if the board meeting minutes had been posted, as many of the speakers during the public comment period submitted their notes for the records. I was very disappointed to see the last District 65 regular board meeting with posted minutes is Sept. 27, 2021. There have been five board meetings since then without minutes posted on the District 65 website. Why haven’t these minutes been posted?
The events during the April 18 board meeting, lack of transparency in the FOIA requests around middle school disciplinary action and lack of regularly posted timely meeting minutes makes me seriously wonder what is happening between the District 65 board leaders and central administration. Our children, their teachers and the staff working in our schools deserve more respect and transparency.