There is a chance for government to work like it is supposed to this evening.
But that will only happen if you show up.
We encourage the community — everyone who cares about Valdosta High School — to show up en masse for this evening’s board of education meeting at the performing arts center.
The public can take government into its own hands, which is exactly where it should be.
We are the government, and the government is us.
The Valdosta Board of Education is expected to reconsider the ouster of head football coach Alan Rodemaker.
The agenda simply reads: “Recommendation to return for 2020-2021: one head football coach at Valdosta High School.”
While school officials would not confirm they will reconsider the move to push Rodemaker out, a spokesperson did say the agenda item is not related to a new coach.
On Jan. 28, board members Kelly Wilson, Stacy Bush, Trey Sherwood and Tad Moseley voted to keep Rodemaker.
Warren Lee, Liz Shumpard, Tyra Howard, Debra Bell and Kelisa Brown voted to part ways with the popular coach.
The meeting this evening was moved to the VCS Performing Arts Center on the campus of the old Valdosta High School, 3101 N. Forrest St., because a large crowd is expected. This meeting begins at 7 p.m.
If the board once again retreats into a lengthy closed door meeting, the public should just wait them out, regardless of how long it takes.
Few issues have stirred this community like the ouster of Rodemaker.
The public outcry has been palpable.
The most disturbing part of this whole affair has been how hush, hush board members on both sides of the vote have been.
They need to understand they are doing the people’s business.
They need to understand the public has a right to know.
They, all of the them, owe us all some explanations.
If Rodemaker has said or done something he shouldn’t have, then tell us. If the coach has a spotless record and this move was political or personal in nature, then we have a right to know that as well.
It is just a ruse when board members say they cannot discuss this in public because it is a personnel issue.
Let’s be clear, there is no provision in state law that prevents public officials from publicly discussing public business. If the school board’s attorney has told them they cannot legally discuss this action, he is wrong about that.
Yes, they are permitted to go into executive session to discuss personnel matters but they are not required to. It is a choice.
In this case, the entire board has made a very bad choice to keep the public in the dark.
This evening they should be forthcoming.
And you, the real stakeholders in this business, should demand answers.