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Heated exchange tonight between Wake County school board members Susan Evans and Deborah Prickett

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Some of the most heated moments at tonight's Wake County student assignment public hearing took place after it officially ended.

Normally school board members don't talk during the hearings, but after the hearing ended those in the audience demanded their questions be answered. Board members assured the crowd they'd hear their concerns.

In one of the more contentious exchanges after the hearing, school board member Susan Evans yanked the microphone out of board member Deborah Prickett's hand.

Prickett had asked the crowd for a show of hands if they were "satisfied" with the choice plan.

Evans, who could be heard muttering something under her breath as Prickett talked, grabbed the microphone.

"This is not appropriate," Evans said. "It's not the purpose of the meeting."

"You took the microphone away from me," said a surprised Prickett to Evans.

Board vice chairman Keith Sutton slammed his gavel to get things back in order, allowing Prickett to continue to talk about the choice plan.

1354153945 Heated exchange tonight between Wake County school board members Susan Evans and Deborah Prickett The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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ding ding ding We have a winner

Susan Evans shows everyone AGAIN how emotional unstable she is.    Do wake county BOE Members get health care?   Susan Evans needs some serious help.

childish behavior

I just watched the WRAL video, and cannot believe what I saw. Deborah Prickett displayed incredible restraint and calmness after what can only be called an act of aggression. Then, to see the facial expressions of her fellow board members, and witness their disrespect as they huddled during Deborah's remarks...how sad and pathetic.

Deborah is due an apology - make that plural - apologies.

I agree on all counts. I

I agree on all counts. I don't know how Prickett remained so calm.

Does anybody know what the other 4 were saying in their huddle? The sound is too low for me to make out the words.

I find it ironic that Tata was supposedly fired for being a bully. Those who voted for his ouster need to take a look in the mirror.

The mics were still going

The mics were still going even though the meeting had concluded; I wonder if WRAL has audio that amplifies what was said.  It seemed that when RM made his muffled remark in the boardroom that the reporters had better audio than what the audience could hear and they reported what was said even though it was unaudible to the crowd in attendance; I wonder if they will do the same in this instance or if the audio setup was different at the remote location.  That said, once the meeting concludes the board member is a private citizen (this was a community engagement meeting--God forbid anyone actually ask the community for actual input) and Ms. Prickett can say what she wants at that point.  Susan Evans was waaaay out of line and she needs to apologize in writing and on camera; AND STAY OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE'S PERSONAL SPACE--please get this woman some additional board member training as she is an embarassment to ALL of District 8. 

D8 is getting what it elected, a bully

a thug and an out of control raging machine of liberal stupidity. They should have known that the night she won and carried on like an idiot on tv, almost knocking her own daughter to the ground.

Now she intends to KO other board members she doesn't agree with and apparently that is acceptable with Kevin Hill?

Where in the spit is Kevin Hill and what does he have to say




actions last night?

If there was any lingering

If there was any lingering questions about the board majorty's desire to have everyone just shut up so they can bulldoze their way to a new GSIW-sanctioned assignment plan, this outrageous display of arrogance, disrespect and rudeness by Susie Evans and crew ought to clear things up. Their fear that the public will finally catch wind of what they are up to is palpable.

Prickett's lost it

Prickett needs to resign if she cannot get over the fact that the Choice Plan is dead.  She proved tonight she cannot move forward with the majority.  Time to go.  

She mentions the past board voted to keep the plan in place for 3 years - Wake Co cannot afford this plan THIS year, let alone two more!   Its going to take years for this county to recover from the 8 Republican Resolutions, and the resulting Choice model.  Why is she not "appalled" at the rising costs of the Choice model? The population of Rolesville has grown enough to fill the new high school - if EVERYONE in the town was a high schooler.   The Republican board has cost this county millions - we are just beginning to see the monetary effects of their Resolutions.   The Wake Forest Road building sits empty while rent is paid across town. The Forestville Road property sits  and that's just the beginning.  I'm all for Prickett being allowed to speak - if she had something productive to say.  What she said tonight was nothing more than sour grapes.

The choice plan is not dead,

The choice plan is not dead, it is the only plan currently in effect. Although GSIW... I mean, the BoE  majority may be bumbling their way to a new one, no one has a clue yet what it looks like. The first three attempts to come up with something have blown up in their faces and they had to reign them back in.

Also, defending Evan's antics like you do is like defending the acts of a rapist because the victim was wearing a short skirt. It's beyond offensive.

She can resign right after Evans serves jail time

for her assault, act of aggression or what ever else people want to call Susan's DESPICABLE, PATHETIC, SOCIALIST, RUDE, MORONIC, bullying against Deborah.

How does that work for you?

Which word would you pick to describe the HATEFUL, MEAN, APPALLING Susan "the bully" Evans?

And on a side note, Wake Co cannot afford anything because they are so far behind thanks to this board's Asinine BS, they will never catch up!

As a reminder for the clueless,

THE PUBLIC WILL NOT SUPPORT BONDS OR HANDOUTS to this school system EVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not until people like Susan Evans are forever removed from making ANY DECISIONS EVER AGAIN about our kids.

NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let's ask the Public

Let's ask the public to vote on a bond and see what happens.  The Wake Commissioners should let US decide - the commissioners should not decide for us about a bond.  The Wake Tech Bond got great support last election.   A WCPSS Bond would too.  We NEED MORE SCHOOLS!  Our community cares about GOOD SCHOOLS.  FS - we don't need more politics to ruin our schools.  Get out of the way.

You are dreaming - Wake Tech isn't WCPSS

Is Wake Tech going to offer the best courses at their main campus only, then tell those living near the RTP campus that they can apply to the main campus, but that the courses they want won't be offered at the RTP campus - if they are accepted to main campus great, if not too bad? Is Wake Tech going to assign students living near their main campus to the RTP or N Raleigh campus for diversity? Does Wake Tech not hold classes on certain Wednesdays, no make that Fridays, no now make that Wednesdays so the professors can hold meetings or get professional development? As I recall in college students tried to schedule their courses to have Fridays off or at least Friday afternoons. Funny, I don't recall the professors saying it wasn't fair if the students got to leave campus, but they might have to stay for a meeting. Did the Wake Tech board promise not to make any major changes and keep the current President and then turn around and start making major changes and firing the President? Do their Board members grab mics away from one another and tell each other to STFU and they will "kick a$$"?

If you think a WCPSS bond will get great support, you are as tone-deaf and delusional as some of the new board members. Are you one of them? The community in general is DISGUSTED with this BOE and that's true from all sides. The kindest gesture I've seen from an average citizen regarding this BOE lately is an eye roll and a head shake. 

Now, I realize they are going to play the "its for the children; don't punish the children; students will be the ones who suffer, not the BOE" card with this bond. Here's the thing, if the children do suffer, it will be the BOE's fault. Why? Because people don't want to hand a bunch of adults who act like children a blank billion $ check and I, for one, don't find that to be an unreasonable feeling among the voters. It is in the BOE's court whether or not this bond gets support. So far, they've done nothing but dig themselves further and further into a hole and they don't even seem to get it. It is like they are living in a different world (GSIW land, I guess). Same thing with their silly "we are only reassigning 1,500 kids" or "only 50 signed up speak". You know why? Because every parent I talk to knows this plan is just, as Martin himself put it, "a stop-gap" plan. It is a one year plan before the Big plan, so may as well save their energy to deal with the tidal wave to come instead of spitting into a 5 ft wave, unless they happen to be directly impacted by the 5 ft wave. Plus, some are simply choosing to comment online. Most are familar enough the reassignment legacy here that they don't expect their comments will matter one way or the other any how. Instead, they will wait to see where the chips fall and then silently walk with their feet or stay and groan their way through like most I hear - "we just have to get through X more years of WCPSS." Coming from a place where schools have a positive assocation for people and are the fabric of the community (and thus, always get great funding request support), this place is pitiful.


we don't need more schools until we fill the ones we have to capacity and fund them appropriately.

no, we do need them

There is excess capacity, but it's not always where it's needed.  Only way you fill it is to bring kids from another school, preferably one that's over capacity.  But then again you keep saying that won't work.

parents have shown repeatedly

that if you make the school attractive they will come. We have 2 choices, abandon schools and build elsewhere, or make the schools strong so parents will come. Tony chose the latter and it worked.


the Commissioners should advise the school board about the bond, but I agree that, in the end, it should be the school board's decision about the size and timing.  however, I am not nearly so sanguine as you are about its passage.  For one, the Wake Tech bond was about 1/5th the size.  Secondly, the people in charge over at Wake Tech haven't been acting like 10-year-old girls in the press.   The wise thing would be for the board to put some time between them and their shenanigans, go for a small bond and use that to prove to the voters that they can act reasonably.  Then, a couple of years later, get a somewhat larger bond.


Secondly, the people in charge over at Wake Tech haven't been acting like 10-year-old girls in the press.  

Plus the people at Wake Tech have not been hanging out in bar lounges and local motels playing non-mating games - or not- depending on whom you believe. 



Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/comment/reply/52107/277940#storylink=cpy

You are confusing the BOE members

10-year-old girls don't hang out in lounges and motels. The motel duo will not be the ones in charge of the $$ - neither is in the majority and Malone just announced his resignation. Goldman, Tedesco and Prickett's terms end next year and they are not in control.

People will be focused on those elected in 2011 who are in control and will be around longer - Evans (who was the one associated with acting like a 10-year old for the mic grab, which is an insult to 10-year olds), Sutton (associated with expressions like STFU and kick a$$), Martin (the egotistical professor who grates on just about everyone's nerves), Kushner (associated with being an ITB elite) all of whom are magnet parents and Hill (associated with the not being an effective leader and trying to force parents).

Good luck with that

The wise thing would be for the board to put some time between them and their shenanigans, go for a small bond and use that to prove to the voters that they can act reasonably.

Honestly, I don't think the shenanigans are going to stop any time soon. The new majority is about to embark on a major overhaul of the assignment plan and they will be doing it right in the height of BOE election season.  It's going to be ugly for a while.

Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/comment/reply/52107/277940#storylink=cpy

I was there and disagree. Prickett was asking a good question.

I thought her question was valid and completely in the spirit of give and take that Sutton kicked off when he decided to take questions. I was really suprised at the incident with the mic because Prickett was very calmly asking about who was satisfied with their 2012 assignment, and it was a student assignment hearing. It is not like she went off on some tangent... The meeting was about the plan, and the people there were there to comment upon the proposal.

To me, Ms. Evan's behavior was odd in that it was physical and a little too familiar... Like an older sister snatching a hairbrush from her younger sibling with an air of entitlement. It was a little weird. And sad. The open dialogue was so nice and I felt like overall it was a positive vibe, and then that incident sort of colored the evening.

I disagree with you

Start at what started it - - Prickett was out of line to bring up "a vote from the audience" on the Choice Plan.  What purpose did that serve?  Her own agenda.  None other.  I'd be saying the same if, two years ago, say Ann McLaurin would have taken the mike and asked the crowd at a same venue if they thought  F&R balancing in the previous plan (at that time) was a good idea.  (Of course McLaurin would have never stooped so low to manipulate an audience). While I don't agree with Evans taking the mike from her, Prickett is not serving the county's children by rehashing the dead plan in such a manner.  Purely an obstructionist move, and she is not looking after the best interests of students in doing what she did.

choice plan is not dead

you need a little reality check here.

1) voters voted out those who supported policy 6200 and forced busing

2) republicans removed the word diversity and acted like bullies

3) voters - by a 4% margin - voted against those who removed the word diversity and acted like bullies.

4) Simultaneously parents chose to leave under funded, under enrolled schools. This caused a shift in where our higher poverty schools are in the county.

5) New BOE removed choice and are now acting like bullies.

6) Parents will grandfather, they will chose to stay where they are. They will not go back to forced busing. Choice is therefore not dead.

As for Deborah, she has done more to strengthen her district's schools than any other board member - period. We elect a board member to provide representation to our district, and she does her job beautifully. Leadership is not about having a "vision," it is about accepting responsibility. Deborah accepted her responsibility and has done her job very well.

Reality on Choice

Last year almost everyone chose to grandfather unless they HAD to enter choice by being a rising K, 6, or 9th grader.

SO - we had a supermajority grandfather into the pre "choice, but not really a choice" system.  That would be what you would call Choosing the OLD PLAN (the one we had before the Republican majority took over and started segregating our schools)

However, we need to end all bullying.  It's not OK in schools and is not OK in board rooms or at public meetings. Or anywhere else.  No brainer.

that is not true

look at demographic changes - people left their schools causing an increase in poverty in some schools. That is what everyone flipped out about - we can't use choice because parents leave the schools that need their demographics.

If the majority of people chose their old schools we would have had no change in school demographics.

Second, I personally got numbers from Laura Evans. WMMS lost 22 high income 6 graders to LRMS. That is an entire class of high income kids lost to a school that is above 40% F&R.

The one thing you need to come to grips with is that you are not forcing those 22 kids back into WMMS. They won't show up. Parents want MORE. More enrichment, programming, opportunity - music, foreign language, clubs, sports, AIG. They chose the school that had what they wanted. If your 4th grader is AIG are you going to go to a school that has AIG 2 days per week or 5 days per week?

We have ONE choice, not two, not three. That one choice is STRENGTHEN schools with equitable programs.

It doesn't work

I know the Dems think that having an ED kid sit beside a white/asian kid means

that through osmosis or some other hocus pocus the ED kid will become

smart.  It doesn't work like that!  Just send kids to their nearest school and be done

with it.


OTOH, I say the Dems won, they are entitled to have their way until the 2015

elections and then maybe the folks will realize that the GOP is right and elect

them (2013, too).  Then WCPSS can get back on track.   It is too big and

giving Raleigh back its schools and those have come in to Raleigh city limits since

the merger would go a long way towards helping WCPSS.  Most of the problems and Wake Up Wake minions are in Raleigh, anyhow.


SO - we had a supermajority

SO - we had a supermajority grandfather into the pre "choice, but not really a choice" system.  That would be what you would call Choosing the OLD PLAN

Not really. Many parents (me included) value stability far more than proximity and calendar choice. If my kid was going into grades 3-5, 7-8, 11-12, I would choose my existing school to guarantee stability, even if I thought there might be a better option. If he/she was going into grades 1, 2 or 10, I might consider choosing the better option.

Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/wakeed/heated-exchange-tonight-between-wake-county-school-board-members-susan-evans-and-deborah-pric#new#storylink=cpy


and that, right there, is WHY the choice plan was so important!

people have MANY reason for wanting the schools they want for their kids, and they SHOULD be allowed that.

it's not "one size fits all" and it's certainly not about letting some crazy-a$$ bullies making your children go where they want them to go, so a system will "look good".


I agree.

I agree.


Why was it out-of-line?  It's not too late to stay with the choice plan.  And, it's useful to see where the public stands on that option.

Let's be clear about what's going on here: (1) For 2013-2014, the district is switching from the choice plan, but really in name only -- this year's changes won't have any substantial effect on the vast majority of WCPSS students.  (2) For 2014-2015, district families will feel the full impact of the switch back from the choice plan, with massive reassignments.   The board majority is essentially boiling a frog here.  

In 2014-2015, it will be much harder for parents to tell the board "Pull your collective heads out of your butts and keep the choice plan."

While I agree that hearing

While I agree that hearing from the public is always a good idea, I don't see how getting the opinions of 50 people who are at a particular board meeting is really that useful. Wasn't there a survey after the choice period ended earlier this year that all parents could complete? (I may have dreamt that). Asking a bunch of parents who are at a meeting specifically because they are unhappy with the latest proposal if they liked the plan that was in place before is just about as useful as it would have been to ask the parents who attended the board meetings back in the spring because of concerns and issues with the choice plan whether they liked the plan in place prior to that.

True parent engagement would probably have found that people who didn't have to go through the choice plan liked it (because they were already where they wanted to be and were happy with their feeder pattern and the stability it offered), and that those who had to go through it were a mixed bag - happy if they got what they wanted but unhappy if they didn't or felt they were worse off. Drilling down with those people may have elicited tweaks that could have improved the plan without throwing it out.

This board isn't interested in true parent engagement though.

The parents aren't intrested in engagement either

As was proven last night and will be proven next week.  They understand there is absolutely no reason to waste their time.

Although my guess is more may show up next week, to defend Mrs. Pricket and anyone else the majority plans to assault. 

Susan might want to skip those meetings.


Prickett has heard from many people in her district that they want the Choice Plan to continue with the tweaks that were promised by Kevin Hill and the gang during their campaign.  Please tell me...why did Kevin and Keith lie during their campaign?   They can preach all they want that this 'new' plan only affects 1%, but it really affects so many more.   The feeder pattern change alone affects a large percentage of kids that are moving up next year.  They may say they will honor feeder patterns f they can, but probably without transportation.  If you can't take your child to school and pick them up, you are being reassigned. 

The BoE makes the highlight reel again!

Top story at 11pm.

Where was Kevin Hill tonight and what does our ineffective board chair have to say about yet another pathetic display from one of HIS majority?

I am really not biased

I am really not biased toward either side for political reasons..so I like to think I see these things fairly objectively....ok at least I do try! While Susan Evans was COMPLETELY out of line for grabbing the mic (I was honestly embarrassed for her), she wasn't totally wrong about Prickett also acting inappropriately. There is obviously no time to go back to the choice plan at this date for next year (and even if there was time we all know that's not going to happen), and I felt like she was taking advantage of an emotionally charged situation and riling up the room even further.  Too bad Susan reacted so poorly that THAT point will now be completely lost, and now she just looks like a bully.

Thank you WakeCtyMom

Pefectly said.


Rudeness on Ms. Evans' part is disappointing and completely unacceptable.  I agree that poor behavior typically overshadows all other issues, such as understanding Ms. Prickett's question and motive for asking it in that setting.  I'm wondering what Ms. Prickett hoped to accomplish with her question to the audience of 50+?  Stirring the pot to get an emotional reaction is not helpful either.


I imagine that she was trying to gauge public satisfaction with the changes recently made by the board to student assignment.  To the extent that there is a strong emotional reaction against those changes, that's something the board needs to be aware of.  Recall that much of the upheaval in the school board over the past 3 years has come because the pre-'09 board was considered 'tone-deaf' to parents in the district.

Gauge public satisfaction

A small group of parents show up for the sole purpose of expressing dissatisfaction and you spin it as "trying to gauge public satisfaction".  

Tata declared the choice plan a success due to "most" parents getting their choice.  By that measure and the small group that turned out one could say that most parents are satisfied with the direction of the proposed assignment changes.

Prickett was just playing politics.


Who cares why Prickett asked her question? Martin yelled out, Evans took the mike and said her piece. Prickett took a turn as well. Speaking is not against the law. Manhandling someone is.

What did martin say? I need

What did martin say? I need to find some headphones so I can hear the audio better.


I think he said "I have a Phd" but it wasn't clear.

Ha - you got me, I laughed

Ha - you got me, I laughed out loud on that one!

Me too. Got lemonade all

Me too. Got lemonade all over my keyboard.


Well, I admit that it's not a scientific question, but I have to believe that it provided useful information.  If they had said "No, even with these problems we still like the current plan," then you'd be arguing the opposite.

Is Susan Evans a thug or a bully?

An act of aggression towards someone who is sitting beside you, on a board that you serve as AN EQUAL to, hmmmmm,

I think she's both.

At a minimum, she should have to go talk with the students at every school in this county about bullying and WHY IT IS UNACCEPTABLE AT ANY LEVEL!

Since when is it ever

Since when is it ever inappropriate to express a point of view or to ask a question of one's constituents? The fact is, the choice plan is the only plan in effect at this time and there is currently nothing to replace it.

The public is on to the complete lack of transparency of the current board majority and judging from the strong reactions of Evans, Kushner, and Sutton to someone questioning where they are headed, they want to keep it that way. They just want everyone to shut up... and will apparently use force if necessary to ensure they do.


Who deputized Evans last night and said she could determine what is appropriate or not? Evans had quite a long back and forth discussion with a parent in the crowd about Abbotts Creek. That was appropriate? Evans is a bully - an angry bully. Her behavior last night is just a snippet of it.

How did we get back to this level of madness so quickly? Just the fact that Sutton thought the Board needed to sit up on the stage to hear the handful of parents in the audience is an indication of how important they think they are - and how unimportant we are.


When Ms. Evans took that mike from Deborah, her (Evans) face and words brought to mind a parent taking an "inappropriate" toy away from a three-year-old. Can you imagine if the tables had been turned??? It would be national news.

For Deborah to refuse to comment to the WRAL reporter afterwards shows what a classy individual she is. Speaking of WRAL coverage - the reporter led us to believe that Deborah was the only one who spoke after things were starting to break up, keeping parents from heading home by asking a provocative question. Good grief - Deborah sat there quietly listening while Ms. Evans "ran the show", and she only spoke after Evans, Sutton, and Martin had had their say.

Setting the board apart up on the stage ? Maybe they were expecting an auditorium full of irate parents? Hmmmm...

The media silence on Ms.

The media silence on Ms. Evans' actions is deafening.

She should file a police report immediately

someone contact her and suggest she do so.

That is exactly how this should be handled.

Screw waiting on the inept media, or Kevin Hill, to do anything.

Maybe Goldman could help her

Maybe Goldman could help her out - doesn't she have the Cary police on speed-dial?

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.