The Aug. 3 editorial "A Destructive Element" made me -- a member and former president of the D.C. Board of Education -- look sinister simply for exercising my rights. I have every right to meet with my colleagues prior to approving an unannounced, unstudied proposal by D.C. Council member Kevin Chavous to reinstate Wilma Harvey as president of the elected school board "as the condition to end feuding between factions of the D.C. school board" (as Chavous's press release stated).
What is so "destructive" about postponing a meeting to allow all the board members to be notified so that they might attend? What's wrong with demanding an agenda in advance of the meeting? The postponed meeting might have interrupted a back-room deal, but it did not get in the way of any "mediation effort."
The editorial further characterized the six members of the D.C. Board of Education who voted to remove Harvey from the president's seat as a "faction." That is false and misleading. We were united on the issue of Harvey's removal but otherwise are by no means members of a faction. Further, Tonya Vidal Kinlow should not be referred to, as the editorial did, as "a Reeves compatriot." She is an at-large member and an emergency transitional trustee.
The board is bound by law to give the public proper notice of its meetings. Prior to a meeting, board members also are entitled to know the agenda, who will be speaking (other than board members) and what the proposed action items are. These steps were not taken in the case of Chavous's proposed meeting.
Rather than harassing the elected board with negative editorials and writing off its members, why doesn't your paper focus on determining whether the new majority can do a better job than its predecessors?
-- Don Reeves
The writer represents Ward 3 on the
D.C. Board of Education.