THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Apparently, citizens cannot complain to the Lone Star College Board of Trustees.
Lone Star Board of Trustees Chair David Holsey made that abundantly clear in a recent board meeting when the local union representative attempted to address the public body about a proposed change to the adjunct teaching load,YourHoustonNews.com reports.
American Federation of Teachers representative John Burghduff was initially invited by Holsey to speak about the issue from the podium during a recent public meeting, but was ordered to halt his comments when the board didn’t like what they were hearing.
The news site reports the incident unfolded like this:
“Burghduff began by introducing himself and spoke about a minute before Holsey stopped him and asked him if he had a complaint. Holsey interpreted his comments as a complaint and told Burghduff to stop addressing the board.
“’May I finish speaking in my three minutes,’ Burghduff asked, (referring to his allotted time for public comment).
“‘No,’ Holsey said and Burghduff walked back to his seat as some shouted, disagreeing with Holsey’s decision.”
After approving a reduction in adjunct teaching loads to no more than nine credit hours per semester, Holsey used the board’s complaint policy to shut down Lone Star professor Larry Loomis-Price, who pointed out the board’s no complaint policy violates the Open Meetings Act, and violated free speech protections.
“So, Dr. Price, are you complaining about the application of the policy?” Holsey asked.
“No, sir, I’m just pointing out something you should be aware of,” Loomis-Price said, according to YourHoustonNews.com.
Loomis-Price attempted to continue, citing the college’s “continuous policy violations” and “gross mismanagement,” before Holsey ordered a police officer to escort the professor from the meeting.
Holsey told Loomis-Price he must follow the appropriate procedures for complaints before declaring “I’m following our policy, I’m handcuffed.”
“Our policy” is the key phrase. The college board sets its own policies, and the no-complaints-at-board-meetings policy is clearly designed to quell those who disagree with the board.
The policy is immoral, illogical, and quite possibly illegal. Holsey wants the public to believe his hands are tied, but the board could vote at any moment to rescind its ridiculous policy.
Why would anyone address a public school board, other than to “complain”?
The situation is just another example of how education bureaucrats contrive their own rules to shield themselves from public scrutiny.
It’s actually quite pathetic.