Official dispells reporting

Published 7:00 pm Monday, March 25, 2013

Dear Editor:

I am responding and giving my unofficial independent opinion regarding The Selma Times-Journal article: “Board discusses possibility of closing Shiloh Elementary.”

As a member of the Dallas County Board of Education it is my opinion that the public should receive accurate reporting of facts and information regarding Dallas County Board of Education business and meetings. The superintendent and board members agreed that it would meet with staff and parents regarding school closure.

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The reporter’s article misleads the public, as in the past, with additional comments made outside of the legal body of board meeting that was provided by Attorney John Pilcher. Attorney Pilcher made other misleading comments in a news article “Officials, courts looking into Board member legitimacy” outside the legal body of the board on behalf of Dallas County Board of Education members that will be properly addressed with the board members.

The board did not discuss any additional information, or the future of the buildings, if closed. I believe reporting of official board business should consist of facts and information conducted by the legal body of board members during board meetings, and not opinions at a side line after the meetings unless approved by the superintendent or board.

The board of education consists of state agents created and established by the Alabama Legislature. Members are a legal body of state officials receiving powers and responsibilities pursuant to Alabama law. Members have authority over school districts’ affairs as a legal body, in open public meetings, not as individuals. The board shall not be bound by misleading statements, libel, slander, or defamation of character purported by Attorney Pilcher. He is not a legal body and doesn’t have any authority to speak on behalf of the Dallas County Board of Education. The board is a policy making body. This is why it is very important to keep official board business separate from the opinions made by others in a newspaper outside the legal body of the Dallas County Board Education business and meetings.


Carolyn Bates

Dallas County School Board