Government School Culture 101 – Manage the Public - Case Study: Brookside Traffic

Here is how Beaumont Unified School District manages the public…

  • Acknowledge a problem exists with traffic at Brookside
  • Hold joint meetings with city representatives
  • Hire an architect
  • Hold meetings with a handful of handpicked parents, staff and archictect
  • After a parent requests more widespread involvement, present design plan at a School Site Council Meeting
  • Acknowledge the plan lacks a serious solution to the traffic issues and promise an evening meeting for more parental involvement
  • Deny a plan exists and claim only a conceptual drawing has been made
  • Officially deny any knowledge of future meetings with parents
  • Indicate “The next step is take the final draft of the drawing to the Board and get their direction if they would like to move forward with full design based on the estimated costs of the project.”
  • Drop the project from the board meeting’s Facilities Projects Update (agenda item #15.1) where it has appeared for months

There has been no direction provided to the administration from the school board, at least nothing publicly. The Tournament Hills Elementary parking lot design has also been dropped from the facilities project update.

Questions for class discussion:

  1. Did the administration ever really intend to fix the problem?
  2. How much of our kids’ resources were paid to the architect for the three parent meetings and a “conceptual drawing”?
  3. Did the board provide private direction to the administration to remove the project from the agenda?
  4. If yes to #3, was it because the majority was unwilling to go on the record for dropping a project with serious safety implications?
  5. What is it going to take for our school board and administration to take the traffic concerns seriously?