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Current 9-R board lacks transparency

I’m a Durango native and am concerned about the current Durango School District 9-R board. They lacked transparency by adopting a resolution on diversity, equity and inclusion that created a committee to address “systemic inequities” within the district and to “engage third party subject matter experts in diversity, equity and inclusion.” No public hearing was publicly announced. I, for one, would have liked to have had the opportunity to question the board

In my opinion, recent school board meetings have excluded those who lack adequate internet service to join Zoom meetings. Those who can Zoom, face poor audio/visual quality that makes it difficult to dialog back and forth. I understand limiting attendees to 3-minute comments ensures a meeting of reasonable length but cutting speakers off after a minute is unacceptable. This occurred at the Sept. 28 meeting. At the end of the meeting, the board discussed banning individual members of the community from commenting during the meetings.

It appeared that Erika Brown and Kristen Smith advocate creating a policy to ban individuals who make harsh comments or critiques of the board. This violates free speech. Making it difficult for people to participate and to consider banning those who disagree with the board is not acceptable.

After attending meet-and-greet events, I have decided to support Kristina Paslay, Richard “Dean” Hill and Donna Gulec. They believe in academic excellence, parental participation and transparency. This is exactly what our school board should embody.

Melissa Lively

Durango