Wake County school board member Deborah Prickett accused fellow member of assaulting her when she yanked a microphone out of Prickett's hands at last week's student assignment public hearing.
During the board comments section of tonight's meeting, Prickett charged that board meetings have become "hostile work environments" where board members are engaging in bullying and harassment. Prickett said that board members who don't change their behavior should resign.
Evans declined comment after Prickett's speech.
Here's Prickett's remarks on the incident:
“The behaviors of some of my fellow board members towards the end of the meeting, as was clearly captured on the WRAL video, was unacceptable and completely disrespectful, not only to me, but the parents that were still in attendance. When I watched the video afterwards and saw the pictures in The News & Observer, I was stunned at the behaviors exhibited, such as the pointing, the huddling, the movement, the chatting and openly talking behind my back and over me in an effort to shut me up and make me lose my train of thought, belittle me in public, downplay my point of view and seeking to strong arm the acting chair, Keith Sutton, into saying that I was out of order for engaging with the public who I serve.
By the way, I was highly impressed with the way Keith Sutton stood firm and he thought through the process, not making snap decisions under pressure and showed great leadership skills at that point.
This was a real eye-opener. A shining light on the level of dysfunction that is being allowed and tolerated at our meetings. I’ve also noticed that the frequency, duration and the level of intensity of the incidents are escalating. Jerking a portable microphone from my hand while leaning into my personal space falls into the confines of assault.
Some board meetings have become hostile work environments because of a few members. Disagreements and differences of opinions are normal. They’re expected and come with the job. Bullying, harassment and assault do not.
As a parent who personally went through constant reassignment for my own child and endured along with those in my family and community, I take public input very seriously. It’s difficult to stand before a board and a room full of people and talk about something that affects your family so greatly.
Personally, I don’t intend to be quiet, to sit down or run away from my obligations. I am determined to represent District 7 and the parents of this county. If certain board members don’t have control of their behavior, then it’s up to them to seek help, to change their actions or resign their position to someone who does.”