Parent’s rights were denied

Published 5:48 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

My thought on the reason(s) Isle of Wight County School Board Chair Denise Tynes, Superintendent Dr. Jim Thornton and two other board members did not want Candice Vande Brake to use a PowerPoint presentation (“IW School Board won’t remove iPad apps,” April 6) is because she had told them she had taken screenshots of the IWCS administration-provided material that she had concerns with, and had put them in her PowerPoint.

If she had made her presentation using PowerPoint the audience and folks viewing the livestream at home would have seen the inappropriate material that as a responsible parent she was appealing.

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Superintendent Thornton, of all people, and not a board member, said something to the effect, “Mrs. Vande Brake is not going to make this a spectacle.” The question arises: Who is Thornton to make a decision as to what is a citizen’s right to present in their own fashion/style their case before the board? Goes to show who’s pulling the puppet strings on at least three board members.

The PowerPoint would have been something the chair and superintendent could not control, so therefore the chair denied it, a total violation of Candice’s constitutional right to free speech and freedom of expression. Too, as board member John Collick stated, “She did not have that power as a single board member to so act.”

A board member’s actions are spelled out in policy BBAA – School  Board Authority. In my view, Tynes acted as a petty tyrant and violated her authority as a board member under BBAA’s parameters. Also, the board members’ Code of Conduct and Board Protocols have items that were likely violated too in regards to the denial of Candice’s right to present her case by using PowerPoint.


Herb De Groft