The very recent and major controversy over Prayer at School Board meetings apparently caused the Cleveland County TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party to reschedule their School Board Candidate forum from last Thursday to Tuesday Night October 20, 2015 at Bethel Baptist Church.
The Forum was attended by Incumbent Jerry Hoyle and Challengers Robert Queen, Hal Hastings, Nikki Ledford, Darius Griffin, L.E. Henson, Yvette Grant, Ray Lockhart, Howard McLeod, Howard Thompson, Jr. and Jo Boggs. Challengers George Falls, Bill Gray and Jeff Jones did not attend. Incumbents Shearra Miller, Richard Hooker and Roger Harris also did not attend. It is believed these incumbents did not want to attend forums where the questions are not controlled and the public can answer questions. Jerry Hoyle learned that the hard way. Perhaps Jerry was sent by the other incumbents as a lightning rod to diminish the public anger against the Incumbents. Jerry was a lightning rod all right, but he did NOT diminish the public’s disdain for the poor job the incumbents have done as well as the waste and lack of transparency.
The forum format consisted of each candidate answering the following questions, then answering questions from the audience.
The questions were:
1. Why are you running for the school board?
2. Do you support Prayer at the beginning of the school bard meeting?
3. Do you support Common Core?
4. Do you support Parental Access?
Some candidates followed the questions pretty well and some candidates did not.
Robert Queen was the first candidate to speak and had a clear and cogent discussion of how he had become interested in the activities of the school board, ask some questions, got no answers, so he decided to run, Mr. Queen was an ardent supporter of Prayer; was against Common Core and Supported full parental access to records. Mr. Queen later stated that getting to the bottom of the school credit card scandal was at the top of his list of things to do on the school board. Mr. Queen is a TEA Party Member.
Hal Hastings was the next speaker and pretty much echoed Robert Queen on his positions. Mr. Hastings stated three things; Change, Trust and Accountability would guide his term on the school board as well as sharing some personal experiences of waste and apparent incompetence at CCS and vowed to put a stop to it. Mr. Hastings is also a TEA Party member.
Darius Griffin spoke of his hard work to get to where he is today. Mr. Griffin supported Prayer but also stated common core was here because the State accepted Federal money and we would have to be dealt with it. Mr. Griffin agreed parents should have total control over their children as well as access to their records.