Sorry for the clickbait title, but it seems appropriate for the subject. The Grandview Heights school board has a tradition of obstructing inquiries into their actions and deliberations. You can read my featured article for more on why they do this. Most of the time they also claim they don’t have the policy of hindering transparency, and will simply refuse to answer when asked why they don’t do simple things like make video recording of their meetings.
I was able to access this list of reasons that board president Truett and Super Culp came up with that bullet points their lame excuses for not recording meetings. They added “and this isn’t all, we might have more” to the description of this list. If these are the best reasons they could come up with, they need to get more creative – every one of these can be easily dismissed via reading current board policy, or knowledge of video tech.
The six reasons Grandview’s board will never video record meetings
- ADA compliance, especially with closed captioning
- Delays in editing due to confidentiality of student names, rights, who may be presenting etc.
- Platform usage, especially platform that may contain ads
- copy right issues, considering student groups, theater productions, etc.
- privacy concerns for private citizens
- Costs associated with video taping these sessions and ensuring we have met all facets of legal requirements of the law in advance of releasing.
– List of reason for never video recording board meetings created by Truett and Culp
Why the board video opposition list is lame
There will be many block quotes inserted into this point by point take-down of the board, linking to schools that are making videos of board meetings right now. I could find thousands of examples, but I’ll just be focusing on near by locations. Like this FC school system –
Westerville City Schools Board YouTube channel – 114 videos.
If access to the board meetings was really important, they would already be videoing and captioning the board meetings. At this point there is no access for hearing impaired, there is no sign language interpreter. The meeting are held deep in the building on the second floor, requiring mobility impaired visitors to use an elevator that Culp was claiming has issues, back when he was holding meetings to show off the conditions of the schools.
Was the point of this bullet to complain that captioning is too hard? YouTube can auto-caption at the click of a button, and even if the captions need editing to correct mistakes, the cost would be a fraction of that needed to hire a sign language interpreter. I’m surprised the school chose to talk about ADA compliance, because it highlights the poor job the school is doing right now.
Bexley City Schools YouTube channel
Another bullet point that suggests the question – how would a video of a board meeting be any different than what they are doing now? Doesn’t the school have a protocol in place for keeping confidentiality of student names? The board already has executive sessions available, at which confidential information can be discussed. There is no requirement to video the executive sessions. Another nonsensical point from the administration.
Gahanna schools have their own video website for board meetings –
This point was a complaint about the ads that may be seen on some YouTube channels, and it again shows how uninformed the administration is about tech. YT ads can be shut down with a few clicks of the preferences. And of course, the school doesn’t need to use YT, they can post the videos on the school website – where they already have many videos. If the creators of this list are so ignorant about technology issues, why would anything they say about creating videos and posting them to the internet be taken seriously?
New Albany-Plain Local Schools videos – click on a meeting, then click the “watch video” button.
Now the brain trust that created this list are just grasping at the thinnest of straws. How could the board avoid copyright issues with any performance given by students? Think hard … wait – maybe they could do the performances BEFORE the meetings, then gavel the meeting and start the video after all the confusion caused by a student group has left the room?
Worthington BOE meetings are posted as live web videos during meetings, and all videos are archived.
People who attend a public school board meeting have no right to privacy. Unless you are on private property, you have no right to ask that cameras be turned off. The whole reason we have public board meetings is so the board – and the rest of the public – can see and hear the attendees (and the board members).
Dublin schools board videos
Costs associated with video
Funny, the board had no problem with costs when they were paying thousands of dollars to have videos created to push the levy, why the change in concerns over costs of meeting videos? Compliance costs? What costs are they taking about? The cost of highly paid school administrators wasting their time writing lame excuses to fail the community?
The Board will make videos, kicking and screaming all the way
The Grandview Heights board will eventually make videos of all board meetings. It is inevitable, if the community doesn’t force the issue, the state of Ohio will require video at some point.
The videos of board meetings is a symptom of the deeper issues the board has with democracy – they really don’t want to be accountable, they really don’t want to listen to anyone. They have their group of supporters, and they don’t want to listen to anyone else, or provide videos to all of the parents.
The public meetings the board needed to host during the school facility process were an anomaly, forced on them because of the need to pass the levy. The terrible way they held the meetings, with a closed Task force pulling the strings from the shadows, and the hand picked Finance committee altering the output of the public meetings in secret showed how little the school board thinks of the democratic process.
You might think fighting against videos of board meetings is a losing stance that the board will give up after a small fight. Everything I know about the board tells me that the board will fight videos tooth and nail, for as long as they can. This video issue will be a signature issue for future board elections – those who want to keep the board a closed group will require candidates to oppose video recording.
Anyone can attend board meeting right now, and make their own videos – the law is clear. However, in the rule sheet for public attending board meetings, the board thinks it has the right to eject anyone who records the meetings without permission. I’m wondering – will the board really try to kick parents out of board meetings, if local news cameras are rolling? Does the board want the news headlines saying “Grandview board attempts to arrest parents who aim a cell phone at them during a board meeting”?
The city has been posting videos on YT for more than a year
One last link – the contrast between the city and the school board in Grandview has always been stark, and the video policy for the council makes it clear.
Have you asked the board to video meetings?
This may be used as a “reason number seven” by the school board. I have gotten some replies from the board members and Culp that makes the claim that “nobody except you has ever asked the board to make video recordings of meetings”.
It doesn’t really make any difference who or how many people asked the board to make recordings, this is just an issue of being a better governmental body and allowing the public to have access to all discussions held inside board meetings, both current and past, so that we know the reasoning the board uses to create policy. It is a “best practice” policy, one that is currently used by many other school districts, and one that will be required by the state at some point in the future.
Have you ever asked the Grandview school board to make video recordings of the meetings? Please use the contact info on the “About Watching Grandview” page (tab at the top of the home page). I’m having a hard time believing the board has never gotten that request from anyone else.
(Edit) the school board may have recognized they will never block the videoing of the board meetings, and that it is a poor political stance before the upcoming elections. The June board meeting was supposed to approve a pilot program for recording meetings. More on that later if it becomes reality.