Monday, March 15, 2010

Board Meeting Rally/Protest

Hi All,

As a reminder to those that follow this blog, the upcoming parent/student rally and protest against the censorship of the Timberland High School journalism programs, the continued harassment of journalism program mentors and students by Principal Winston Rogers, and the advocation of censorship by the Wentzville School District Administration and Board is quickly approaching:
When: March 18th, 2010 @ 6:45pm
Where: One Campus Drive, Wentzville MO
As far as I can tell, after doing a little research and speaking with media reporters, this could be one of the largest education protests in Wentzville history.  The numbers, if those that have RSVP'd on the facebook Team McCandless page appear, are staggering.  I'm expecting that attendence could be well into the hundreds!

Given a crowd of that size, I'd like to toss out few suggestions:
  • Meeting Participants: Get there early if you plan to speak.  While there are posted procedures that state people may speak at the event, there is no guarantee that the number of people permitted to speak won't be limited.  Also, according to the posted agenda, the speaking portion comes near the beginning, so punctuality will be rewarded!
  • Demonstrators: We will need particpants to be part of the street demonstration.  The most effective place to demonstrate would be at the intersection of Campus Drive and Pearce Blvd, we should have more than enough demonstrators to also gather in front of the Board offices.
  • Parking:  There should be plenty of parking in the Holt High School parking lot for the board meeting.  Please be courteous of other businesses in the area, and limit parking to the school grounds.  The most appropriate place to park for street demonstrators is at the Middle School, which is just a short walk from the Pearce intersection.  Again, please respect the surrounding businesses and the flow of traffic.  There will most likely be press coverage, so we don't want bad publicity.
  • Attire: Wear your "Team McCandless" shirts to show your support.  If you don't have a "Team McCandless" shirt, green is the color of the day!  Again, we intend to have press coverage, and the more visually interesting this rally is, the more likely it will get aired/printed!  The weather forcast (as of this moment) is clear but cool... so dress appropriately!
  • Signs:  If you are particpating in the outside demonstration, please consider bringing signs of support/protest.
Signage Guidelines:  We are attempting to make a positive difference, so please make sure your sign is appropriate.  If we cannot convey a positive message, then we will not succeed.  Here are a few general guidelines in creating your message that should help prevent embarassement for our cause.
  • Positive messages:  Your positive messages can show support for Ms. McCandless, the journalism program, free speech, and the like. 
  • Protest messages:  Messages against censorship, teacher and student harassment, administration censorship policy, and school board silence are all appropriate. 
  • Avoid messages that directly reference administrators or board members with unsupported claims or generalities.  For instance "Winston Rogers sucks" is inappropriate, but "Stop Winston Rogers' Censorship" would be okay. 
  • Avoid messages that would be considered insulting, slanderous, obscene, vulger or in any other way inappropriate.  (You guys are journalism students, so use what Coach Mac has taught you!)
Finally, lets make this an event to remember!  If you can, bring friends, family, neighbors... anyone that you can!  Let's try to make it into the history books with the largest educational protest in Wentzville history. I think Cathy McCandless and all the students in the Timberland Journalism programs deserve it!

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