Having watched the video now and listened to much conversation on this topic today, I think it's important that we make clear that the discussion about the "raucous" and "violent" and "heated" meeting does not give a clear picture about what happened last night.
One very disturbed man acted completely inappropriately and was removed from the room twice by security guards. However, that action had very little to do with schools and school closure, and seemed to be instead a case of mental instability and racial hatred.
A lot of other testimony was angry and emotionally --- in my opinion, appropriately so. And some people tried to interrupt the meeting with civil disobedience, which was peaceful.
Below is a comment from the United Cooper Advocacy Group on this issue.
The United Cooper Advocacy Group would like to make a statement regarding the School Board meeting on October 18, 2006:
The United Cooper Advocacy Group (UCAG) is pleased with the School Board decision to indefinitely table the Phase II school closure proposal. We feel that Cooper (and Pathfinder) parents passionately and respectfully (over the past 6 weeks) presented meaningful testimony to the Seattle School Board. We have continually stated that the phase II recommendations were ill conceived, morally questionable and lacked community support.
We strongly recommend that if/when future school closure discussions occur that it becomes a comprehensive process that involves parents, community members, teachers and administrators. We are very supportive to help remedy any budget issue as long as we can work together as a community to solve these problems.
As to the unfortunate incident that occurred at the meeting, we want to be very clear that this was the act of one “troubled” individual that had absolutely no affiliation with Cooper Elementary or Pathfinder. We were disappointed to see this incident detract from an otherwise impassioned and peaceful public testimony.
United Cooper Advocacy Group