New organization speaks at board of education meeting

Published 7:13 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Butler County Board of Education’s monthly meeting was packed nearly to capacity thanks largely to the attendance of members of a grassroots organization that has formed as way, members say, to open better lines of communication between the board and citizens.

Kenneth Crum, a member and representative of the newly-formed Butler County Concerned Citizens organization, spoke on behalf of the group at Thursday’s monthly board meeting.

The organization is not sanctioned by the board of education or any other entity, but was instead formed to function as a liaison between the county’s various political, educational, economic and social establishments.

“We’re going to be working with the superintendent, the board, the faculty, the parents and the students to make Butler County the best school system in the state of Alabama,” Crum said.

Crum said that one of the BCCC’s primary goals is helping the community become more involved in the educational process by encouraging participation in monthly board of education meetings.  Crum added that he was able to amass more than 20 members Thursday afternoon on relatively short notice as proof that the group is serious about its commitment to participation.

The group is also looking to take information disseminated at board of education meetings and relay it back to the community so that parents could make better decisions as they pertain to the education of Butler County students.

But more than anything, Crum said that the formation of the BCCC is effectively an olive branch among the various facets of the community.

“We don’t want the relationship between students, parents, the board of education and the superintendent to be an adversarial relationship,” Crum said. “We want more people here—more parents here, more students here—to be involved in school board meetings.  Our presence makes a big difference. 

“So if you’re here, we know that you care about the students—your children—and their education.”

Members of the board—as well as those in attendance—responded favorably to the BCCC’s presence at Thursday’s meeting.

Board of Education member Brandon Sellers offered his own heartfelt thanks for increasing participation at the evening’s meeting.

“I hope that the next call that you make can get 40 people here,” Sellers said. “I would love to see 40, and the next week it could be 80—just as many folks as we can get to come out. 

“I’ve never thought of the school board as an adversarial type of process.  We are here for students.”

The Butler County Concerned Citizens have also made their presence known at the Butler County Commission’s most recent meeting, and they’ll be addressing the Greenville City Council during Monday’s meeting at 5:30 p.m.

For more information on how to get involved with the Butler County Concerned Citizens organization, contact Crum at 404-242-4223.