Mother deleted at West Chester school board meeting goes like writing



WEST CHESTER, PA – A mother who spoke at a July West Chester Area School District Board meeting and was escorted out announced her written candidacy for a seat on the Board of administration of the region 3.

Anita Edgarian said in a press release this week that she would run in Region 3 as a written candidate. “As we reflect on Labor Day, I think it is important to recognize the responsibility of each of us to serve our community and to contribute in a positive way. Therefore, I have chosen today to officially announce my candidacy, “she said.

“On July 26, 2021, I attended the West Chester Area School District Monthly Meeting to voice my concerns about the division in our community based on the debate surrounding CRT (Critical Race Theory). was not for or against the CRT, I was rather vociferous that the district was pitting parents against each other and was not transparent about what was going on, ”Edgarian wrote of the incident.

WCASD Board Chairman Chris McCune asked an officer to remove Edgarian from the meeting as his remarks grew louder and his time was up and told to end to his remarks, she replied: “No!” and continued.

McCune got down from his seat and turned off the microphone before telling security to escort Edgarian out of the meeting. The incident sparked calls for McCune’s resignation, accusations of intimidation and demands to be withdrawn from the race for re-election.

Edgarian’s ad this week read, “When I pointed out the truth of the situation, it clearly was not part of the predetermined ‘nice meeting’ the board had in mind. Mr. McCune’s attack on me was not to control two minutes, it was more to control the content of my speech. “

McCune has responded to calls for his resignation. He said in recent weeks: “Our public meeting procedures are in place to foster the civil exchange of ideas. At our board meeting (in July), there was a break in this process. There is room for improvement all around, including me. The board is taking appropriate action that will prevent unpleasant situations like this in the future. “

A petition published more than a month ago calling on McCune to withdraw his candidacy for re-election to the WCASD board of directors in Region 3 sought 500 signatures. As of September 8, it had 479 signatories. McCune has served on the school board since 2013 and has served as school board chair for five years.

After the incident, the West Chester Area School Board released a statement in support of McCune’s action, signed by each board member.

Edgarian’s campaign statement said the school board wanted blind obedience from the community. “Mr. McCune snatching the mic when he had already called on the police to remove me is a symptom of deeper issues with the council. Since then, it has become clear that the dynamics of this council are based on complicity and blind obedience. despite their political affiliation. It’s a dynamic our school district cannot afford. The direction and future of 12,000 students and nearly 1,800 staff should not be determined by the complicity and silence of the board, ”her announcement said.

As Edgarian came out and was off camera in the video of the meeting, he could still be heard calling out his remarks. McCune had returned to his seat and said as he sat down, “Come on, officers, escort her out.” He berated the woman for trying to “monopolize the meeting”, calling her behavior “shameful”.

There was applause from the audience as the officer escorted him. In the full YouTube video of the July 26 meeting, the incident occurs at 1:52.

“No form of bullying and / or harassment should exist in our boardroom and certainly not in our schools,” the Edgarian statement said. She added, “Our constitutional rights do not end when the feelings of board members are hurt.”

Threats were directed at the council in the weeks following the July 26 incident.

The August West Chester area school board meeting was scheduled in person, but had to be made virtual after law enforcement assessed the threats made by email and phone. WCASD announced ahead of the meeting: “The district office has received several threats from out-of-state phone numbers and email addresses. These incidents are under investigation by the police and the FBI. Read Patch’s full story here.

Edgarian called his withdrawal from the meeting “retaliation” in his statement and urged voters in the district to stand by his side to lead by example.

“It is our duty, as voters, to set an example for our children, parents, teachers and staff: to stand up for their rights without reprisal. I take up this challenge knowing that this “campaign is already a winner” to have so many of you to be more involved and engaged in our school system, “she said.

“My commitment to the voters of Region 3 is that I will always listen with respect to your concerns and suggestions. I will give a voice to those who are afraid or uncomfortable taking a stand. I, Anita Edgarian, pledge to protect our students and end these contemptuous board meetings. “

McCune said that as the current school board chair, he remains focused on putting student achievement and financial accountability first. “WCASD is the county’s lowest tax district and consistently ranks in the top 5-10% academically across the state and nation. My goal is to bring people together for the betterment of our school district and the future of children. My hope is that the WCASD community will rise above those who seek to divide us. “

“Education should not be political,” he added. Read Patch’s full story about McCune’s resignation calls here.

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