It took some guts to speak in support of the new Wake County school board majority at Tuesday's meeting.
Of the 48 people who spoke, only 12 praised the new board. Most of the speakers and audience consisted of supporters of current policies who were vocal when they disagreed with speakers.
Russell Capps, president of the Wake County Taxpayers Association, drew jeers when he cited the recent Civitas Institute poll to argue that the the overwhelming majority of parents support the new board's efforts.
Capps told the crowd to stop being disrespectful, saying he hadn't interrupted other speakers.
“I’d appreciate it if you give me a chance to speak,” Capps said.
Later on, Molly Creel talked about how unfair it is that you have to travel into downtown Raleigh to get access to magnet programs. Creel, who lives in Wake Forest, said she has a student attending the magnet program at Ligon MIddle School.
"Why should we have our children have to go downtown?" Creel said. "Why do my children literally have to go to a ghetto where children have to put up with lockdowns, where they are put into rooms with lights out where they are frightened?"
Creel's remarks about going to a ghetto drew loud boos from the crowd, which included a lot of magnet students and their parents.
Creel said the academically gifted coordinators at her children's base schools told her not to send her kids there because they had nothing to offer them.
The closest equivalent negative crowd reaction on the other side occurred when Gary Dismukes, a parent at Leesville Road Elementary, said "the board's stated polices are rooted in the same small-minded and racist polices of the Jim Crow South."
Dismukes' statements drew groans from some in the crowd and an admonition from school board chairman Ron Margiotta to keep his remarks clean.