Orange County Public Schools board chair ejects parents, speakers from meeting

It is no longer “We the People” but “US vs. Them.”

At the direction of the Orange County Public Schools board of education chair, parents and members of the public were ejected from the Oct. 11 board meeting by Orange County sheriffs’ deputies.

The reason? Apparently speaking about concerns and topics that were not on the meeting agenda.

Attendees were also subjected to metal detectors and told they could not congregate on the premises of A.L. Stanback Middle School where the meeting was being held.

Several times during the meeting, Mackenzie was heard to say, “you cannot talk on that topic,” before motioning for deputies to remove the person. Loud booing throughout the auditorium followed.

Orange County schools’ policy manual does not include language dictating what a speaker can or can’t talk about beyond barring discussion of personal information, student information or addressing a specific board member with a grievance.

“If you don’t speak about agenda items you will be asked to leave,” Mackenzie repeated several times.

In the background, a male attendee yelled, “You’re shutting down parents! You shut down parents. You advocate for a Communist cause and that’s going to be exposed.”

Shouts from the audience were fairly steady throughout the public comments portion of the meeting.

Following additional yelling and gavel banging, another individual attempted to address curriculum, but the moment he uttered the words “racist behavior” Mackenzie intervened, saying she could “not let you speak on that,” while sending deputies to intercept him and walk him out.

Even when speakers attempted to address an item on the agenda, a resolution to “address harm caused to students by incidents of hostile and racist behavior,” Mackenzie gaveled them out of order and still had them escorted out by law enforcement.

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