President Defends Board, Calls Protesters 'Unruly' and 'Obnoxious'

Greenfield School Board president Bruce Bailey speaks out on Monday night's protests.

Greenfield School Board president Bruce Bailey understands that people in Wisconsin, especially teachers and their supporters, are mad these days.

He just thinks they are mad at the wrong people.

Bailey had the unenviable task of leading Monday night’s meeting that was met with who voiced their opinions before, during and after the session.

“I was surprised with the amount of anger directed at us,” said Bailey, who added he had no inclination that large of a crowd would show up. “If they’re mad at Governor Walker and the (budget-repair) bill, that’s fine, but to direct that anger at the local school board is misplaced.”

According to Bailey, one school board member told him their car was damaged during or after the meeting.

“That’s totally unacceptable. That’s terrible,” Bailey said.

Displays of anger and displeasure were prominent. Protesters came to the meeting upset that the school board was expected to approve the employee handbook at Monday’s meeting. They became even more furious when many of them were , which had reached its capacity, according to Bailey.

“The crowd was mad that we didn’t move it to the PAC, but it’s posted for that meeting room where are cameras are set up to televise it locally,” Bailey said. “We figured it was more important to have people fill up the room and then have it televised for the citizens of Greenfield, not to have WEAC dictate where we were going to hold our meeting.”

Many members of the Wisconsin Education Association Council were among those in attendance, as were teachers and supporters from other districts outside of Greenfield.

“A lot of the teachers that were there were WEAC people from out of the district that created most of the problems,” Bailey said. “They were unruly and obnoxious. I tried to gavel them and tell them it was a place of business. They were chanting, ‘.’ We almost closed the meeting down but we didn’t want them to prevail with their tactics.

“Some people weren’t behaving in an adult fashion. They were behaving like children.”

, Doug Perry, a Greenfield elementary school teacher and the Greenfield teachers’ union president, said he and his colleagues were frustrated that they had not seen a copy of the handbook or had any input in regards to its contents in advance of the start of school, which for teachers was Tuesday.

Bailey said the district administration did the best it could given the time frame it faced.

“The administration did a good job of putting the new handbook together in a short time,” he said. “Some things were changing because of things that happened in Madison, so they had to wait to put it together.”

The district’s annual meeting is slated for Monday, Sept. 12. Bailey said he hopes Monday’s demonstrations are not replicated.

“Everybody that comes to our meeting has a chance to talk, and we ask that they show respect and not behave in an unruly fashion,” he said. “We just expect the courtesy to let us conduct our business.”

Ken Ziegler August 26, 2011 at 12:23 AM
You ever consider maybe that your boss sucks?
robert heule August 26, 2011 at 01:50 PM
Damage to car? Please check the police blotter when the latest one is published. If my car was damaged, I would call the cops and stay on the scene until they arrived. Wouldn't it be strange if the alleged victim didn't call?
robert heule August 31, 2011 at 04:37 AM
Hello! Unless I missed something, the latest police blotter shows nothing about a School Board Member's car being damaged the on night of August 22nd, at the much publicized School board meeting. Over time there have been reports of a politician's property being damaged and nothing has ever been resolved. Yes there have been reports to the police and as I stated in a previous comment, There was breaking of glass at properties of a mid-era mayor and a former northeast district alderman, but no one was ever arrested. What about these allegations? Why aren't the perpetrators prosecuted? Do they really exist? Will the School Board Member whose car was allegedly damaged on August 22nd please inform the police. This type of criminal activity can deter citizens from running for public office.
Ben Hogan August 31, 2011 at 12:54 PM
Robert : I think it comes down to what kind of damage occured. Im not sure if I would have waited to call the police if the damage was minor vs. major. what would the cops be able to do at that point?
David Cotey August 31, 2011 at 01:35 PM
I exchanged emails with the board member with the damaged car. The damage was minor, but damage nonetheless.


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