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Ron Margiotta criticizes plea deals given to Wake County school board protesters

Former Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta is not happy with the plea deals that were reached with the Rev. William Barber and the other people who were arrested at school board meetings.

In an interview Monday on the Bill LuMaye Show on WPTF, Margiotta said he agrees with requiring the protesters to perform community service but is against having the charges dismissed when they complete the work. He said he wished the protesters had been fined to repay the security costs at school board meetings.

"It was a matter of our District Attorney just wanting to not push too hard on the issue," Margiotta said. "I think it's that simple."

Twenty-one people enter guilty pleas in Wake County school board protest cases

Here's a quick recap from today's court proceedings in which 21 people pleaded guilty to disrupting Wake County school board meetings in 2010.

The protesters will perform 40 hours of community service such as working in food banks and soup kitchens and pay $430 in fees. If they complete the work in the next six months, the charges will be dismissed. They can ask to have the charges expunged.

Although he entered a guilty plea, the Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, still remained defiant. He pointed to last fall's school board elections as a sign they were doing what was right.

"We’re guilty of standing up for righteousness,” Barber said at a press conference where he was joined by the Rev. Nancy Petty, the Rev. Curtis Gatewood and Dante Strobino.

Court dates set for protesters arrested at Wake County school board meetings

It looks like the 30 protesters who were arrested at Wake County school board meetings in 2010 will finally be going to court.

Court dates have been scheduled for four Fridays between March 2 and April 13. Prosecutors grouped the court dates for the defendants based on when they were arrested.

This means the people arrested in March and June 2010 will be in court March 2. This group includes the Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP; the Rev. Nancy Petty, pastor of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church; Tim Tyson, a Duke University historian and author; and Dante Strobino, co-founder of the self-described socialist group Raleigh FIST.

NC HEAT attacks conservatives and neighborhood schools

The quick summary of the message from Thursday night's meeting is that neighborhood schools and political conservatism are bad.

As noted in today's article, the teens of N.C. HEAT argued that neighborhood schools will lead to resegregation and that the Wake County school board majority is controlled by conservative groups. The teens didn't have nice words to say about Steve Noble, chairman of Called2Action, and conservative businessmen Art Pope and Bob Luddy.

Enloe High student Robert Wright said the school board's policy is being set by Called2Action and Pope. He said members of the board majority are "puppets used by conservative organizations."

Arrested activists to show up at Tuesday's school board protest

Guess who's scheduled to come to the protest at Tuesday's Wake County school board meeting?

Dante Strobino has signed up on the Facebook event listing to attend the protest. Strobino is the 29-year-old Raleigh activist with a history of arrests who was among the three people arrested at the March 23 school board protest.

Strobino was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday on the March charge of second degree trespassing. But according to the Wake County District Attorney's Office, Strobino was a no-show at Wednesday's hearing.

Arrested protesters have a history of activism and arrests

This has not been a great week for marketing Wake County to the rest of the nation.

As noted in today's article, Wake's family-friendly reputation has been replaced with images of shouting students and police handcuffing protesters. Critics of the new Wake County school board majority say they're tarnishing the area's national reputation while supporters are blaming the problems on outside agitators, some of whom have a lengthy record of political activism and arrests.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said the situation is causing such as black eye for Wake that the county commissioners need to exert control over the school board. Meeker, who spoke at the Friends of Diversity Press Conference the day before the election in October, is married to school board member Anne McLaurin.


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