Richmond County School Board holds community forum

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Some Richmond County parents want to see change.

Questions were fired at school board members Wednesday night, June 7.

It was standing room only in South Augusta, with nearly 100 parents at a community forum.

There was heated debate over spending, state tests, and class sizes.

News 12 is On Your Side with how Richmond County school board members are reaching out, making themselves available for questioning.

This was the first of what would be dozens of questions: "Why have we not done away with the Georgia High School graduation test?"

"You know, we have no idea what they're going to ask," said school board member Barbara Pulliam. She and member Joe Scott opened up the lines of communication in a public forum designed to clear the air between families and faculty.

Parent Randy Peters questioned county spending: "We didn't have books in the library for two years, yet we buy a hundred something thousand dollar scoreboard?"

Teacher Tequila Williams worried state reading and math tests create too much pressure.

"If you don't pass it, then you don't go to the next grade," she said. "Everybody's not good at test taking."

Then there's parent Melissa Palmer, who said schools aren't doing enough to discipline students.

"And when other children are coming into the school system and they're trying to learn, you know, they become fearful of the other kids when the behavior problem is so destructive," Palmer said.

Spending, test scores, and discipline were just three of several topics that came up.

Board members also wanted to set the record straight on certain internal affairs.

"There are certain people believing that there's people on the board with an agenda to get Dr. Larke, and that's far from the truth as far as I'm concerned," Scott said.

"Those people who voted us in, we want to keep them informed."

The meeting was open to parents, students and teachers in Districts 4 and 5.

It was a big hit; lots of board members, including some county commissioners, were there.

Pulliam says she'd like to hold more of these meetings in the future.