Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tonight's IPS Board Meeting Should Be Interesting

Kyle Olson, vice president of the Education Action Group Foundation, will address the Indianapolis school board tonight (20 April) regarding the legally-questionable eviction of an EAGF film crew from a school board budget meeting on 24 March.

Tonight’s school board meeting is at 7 p.m. at the school district administration building.

EAGF, a Michigan-based 501(c)(3) non-profit, is currently producing a feature-length documentary film on American public education, focusing on Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. Our film crew, comprised of Olson and videographer Don VanderKooi, was attending the 24 March IPS public budget meeting as part of that project.

Unfortunately our crew was only able to attend about 40 minutes of the meeting, because School and Community Relations Director Mary Louise Bewley suddenly ordered them to leave, with police escort, claiming they were there for "disingenuous reasons." Other members of the audience, including at least one working reporter, were allowed to stay.

The entire episode was captured on film and is available on YouTube here.

After the incident, Olson filed a formal complaint with the Office of Public Access Counselor, citing the denial of our right to attend a publicly advertised meeting.

Olson plans to call for more transparency and will seek to obtain the opinions of the school board members on the situation.

He will be available for comment after the meeting.

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