We want to share with you two outrageous public comments at the June 8, 2021 Indian River County School, FL School Board meeting.
According to school board member Mara Schiff, “Political civility is quickly flying out the window.”
First some background.
Mr. John Corapi, formerly the Business Retention Manager Indian River County Chamber of Commerce [he was subsequently terminated because of his behavior], caused a disruption at the May 25 meeting when he refused to get out of a chair that had been assigned to school board members while the academic all-stars at Sebastian River and Vero Beach High Schools were being recognized. He was yelling at three police officers who confronted him about why he couldn’t sit in the chair.
Two school board members offered to give up their chairs.
Chairman Brian Bairfoot announced that “the meeting is in recess.”
Commotion ensued. Tiffany Justice, who was wandering around videoing the situation yelled: “You need two seats in this boardroom and you can’t allow a parent to have one?”
Rosemary Wilson walked to the engagement and said “What a bunch of cowards. Let the guy sit there for Peet’s sake”.
During the recess the three officers removed Mr. Corapi from the board room to wait in the lobby until it was his time for public comment.
As written by : George Andreassi of Vero News on June 10 2021, “Taken aback by the confrontation, the School Board plans to review its policies regarding public speaking and behavior during board meetings, possibly as soon as its June 22 meeting.
In the meantime, the school district has asked the Sheriff’s Office to assign additional deputies to the board’s June 8 and June 22 meetings to maintain order.”
“In my opinion, with civility, the last board meeting was the worst I’ve seen in 41 years,” said School Board member Peggy Jones, a former teacher and high school principal.
“In this meeting, we had raised voices, inciting and disturbances,” Jones said. “Phone cameras were in people’s faces and in our sheriff’s [deputies’] faces – [it was] nothing less than rudeness. Anger, harassment, bullying and hate do not belong here.
I want our civility policy followed, or even amended, if the board so desires,” Jones said during the board’s May 25 Superintendent’s Workshop. “People who are not acting appropriately need to be removed.”
Also, according to George Andreassi, “At the May 25 workshop Board member Mara Schiff noted School Board meetings across the state and the nation are reportedly growing more heated.”
So here are the three public comments at the June 8 school board meeting.
JUNE 8, 2021
“I am white. I am a white woman. Are you shocked? You’re probably racist for judging me. What you want to teach is all BS. Now I want to make one thing clear, you’re all racists…each and every one of you are racists. We’re sick and tired of you Commie-Marxist propaganda…and pushing anal sex in the agenda.”
Mr. Barefoot: “Thank you.”
“You should be teaching reading, writing and arithmetic.”
Mr. Barefoot: “Times up.”
John Corapi, reading a letter to him from the Chamber of Commerce: “We were informed last week by a school board official that you will not be permitted on any campuses.”
Mr. Corapi: I need to know who told the Chamber that I was not allowed on any school campus. The bottom line is the people right here, in this room, they can’t trust you anymore. You’re lying. You’re lying to the newspaper [32963 – Ray McNulty wrote an article about Mr. Corapi’s behavior] you’re lying to the Chamber, and you’re lying to the community and you know it.”
Mr. Barefoot: “Don’t sit up and yell at us. Alright Mr. Corapi, you’re finished tonight.”
Mr. Corapi: “I was finished a long time ago. You’re finished. It’s time for you to go and him to go [Dr. Moore]. End of story.”
Mr. Barefoot: “You’re out of line.”
Mr. Corapi: “You’re out of line.”
And then there was this:
“I’ve read something recently that has me baffled. Apparently there is a small fraction of this community who despite being told a number of times by almost all the board members that CRT is not being proposed and they refuse to believe that. They are not hearing you. They believe there is some hidden agenda by the 600 teachers, administrators, Department of Education personnel and other invited curriculum reviewers that in their words indoctrinate our children.
I came here tonight as part of a group of parents and community members who want to reassure you…that you have our trust and that we are tired of a small part of our community inferring that just because they’re louder than us they speak for us and our children.
Please know that we stand with you… we support you. We are not here to bully you, but to support you.”