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It seems BISD is very proud of the last town hall meeting that was held last November. We have heard much about how that was the deciding factor of what BISD would do with the South Park building. Their spokesmen boast of how they listened to "the people." Well, let's just sit back for a minute or two and take a little look at that now infamous Town Hall Meeting.

Just how big was this Town Hall Meeting?

BISD Newsletter: Nov 10 2008
"In what seemed more like a pep rally than a town hall meet­ing, more than 100 speakers shared blatantly that they want a brand new South Park Middle School, not a renovated school."

Beaumont Enterprise, July 1, 2009 "Wrecking ball might not hit" by Emily Guevara
"A town hall meeting at the middle school last November drew more than 300 students, teachers and parents, the majority of whom fully supported the deomolition plans, according to previous Enterprise coverage." This is a DIRECT QUOTE from the article written by none other than Emily Guevara on November 7, 2008, entitled "SouthPark school community wants to tear down old, build new.
"More than 300 students, parents, teachers and community members showed up at the middle school..."
*(see below) "The question was whether to renovate the old school or demolish it and build new."... "Students, probably more than 150 strong held up hand-made signs calling...to demolish the old school and build new."

July 3-9 2009, The Examiner - Judge halts demolition of South Park"
"Thomas, reached on vacation via cell phone, said"..."'And if any court gets involved in that they are going against the will of the people because when we had a community meeting, there was about 400 people there who told the board overwhelmingly what they wanted to do.'"

IN CONCLUSON: The original report by BISD, themselves, was that "100" made comments. Somehow, Ms. Guevera, in her article published in the Enterprise, managed to exaggerate those numbers in her accounting of the meeting and nobody called her on it.

At first it seemed that BISD was the one who kept saying "300" but quite interestingly enough, that number orginated from the Enterprise! Their own publication said a hundred.

But not to be outdone on "making their case," Dr. Thomas obviously liking the Enterprise's version better, decides to help their numbers out a little more and spews out the number of 400 people there.

So, what's the truth? How many people were there? And does it really matter anyway? But they're proud of this Town Hall. So, where's the proof? Where are some pictures of this huge crowd of 400 people! That's a lot for any kind of little town hall. We have PROOF of our 2800.

Even if we give BISD and Ms. Guevera the benefit of the doubt, and there were, indeed, 400 people there and 150 held signs and 100 spoke (we must assume that some sign holders also spoke), first, that's still not the "majority of 400; but more importantly than that, it STILL leads us to the agonizing question of the mentality of our educators, those who are in control of educating our children and molding their character. How can BISD possibly get the ILLUSION that an "overwhelming" majority of people want to demolish the school when they're looking at over 2800 SIGNED petitions in one hand and and "over 100" (by BISD's original count) people who spoke out at a meeting??? Oh, wait -- they DIDN'T look at the written, signed PETITIONS!


Ms. Guevera stated in her article, *"The question was whether to renovate the old school or demolish it and build new."...

No, Emily, that was NOT the question. At least that was not the question that was stated as an agenda item for the meeting.

Here is the wording of the announcement of the meeting posted on the BISD website:

Here is the wording of the announcement of the meeting posted in the Beaumont Enterprise:

Public can weigh in on new South Park Middle School campus
November 5, 2008
Posted: November 5, 2008, 4:46 PM CST   Last updated: November 5, 2008, 10:48 PM CST

Interested Beaumont residents can attend a public forum Thursday about the construction and design of the new South Park Middle School.

South Park is one of 10 Beaumont schools slated to receive a new campus as part of the $388.6 million bond package passed last November.

The forum will be held at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium, 4500 Highland Ave, Beaumont. Call (409) 617-5000 for more information.


NEITHER of these announcements say, "The question was whether to renovate the old school or demolish it and build new." The Bond Issue passed with BISD stating that South Park BUILDING would be left alone and that BISD would build a new school elsewhere. So, the question of whether to "renovate or build new" was already decided. There was, however, a question as to where, but it would be a separate place.

People who advocated saving South Park had already been reassured that demolition was "off the table." So, they did not see any urgency in attending this Town Hall because they didn't really care what the new building would look like. They could build what they wanted since the historical South Park building would be left alone.

And besides that, they had already submitted IN WRITING via a legal instrument called a petition what their wishes were about this situation.