Video: City Councilman Being Removed From BOE Meeting

by Categorized: Larry Deutsch, Schools Date:

More than 200 men, women and children packed the multipurpose room at Bulkeley High School for tonight’s city school board meeting, with most of them there for a specific agenda item: the approval of a second Achievement First K-8 charter school in Hartford.

The board voted 5-2 to allow the Achievement First exansion to move forward, but not before City Councilman Larry Deutsch got physically escorted out of the meeting for speaking, or shouting, out of order.

Deutsch of the Working Families Party had signed up to speak during the public comments portion of the meeting. Instead of addressing the board, though, he took the microphone and faced the audience. Board Chairman Matthew Poland called repeatedly for order, which Deutsch ignored. Someone silenced the microphone but Deutsch kept speaking.

While his words were difficult to decipher over the commotion, it’s safe to say that he did not support the Achievement First proposal.

See for yourself. Video clips were taken on the iPhone.

And here:


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7 thoughts on “Video: City Councilman Being Removed From BOE Meeting

  1. Larry Deutsch, Hartford City Council

    Thanks are due to Courant writer Vanessa de la Torre for her coverage of this meeting.
    Interesting. An incident began as a simple and polite attempt to include the public – by facing them as well as the Board – for comments on this important subject. Simple democracy, recognizing the roles of all, children and adults, for an open process.
    Speakers on both sides made good points about quality education, but the Board appeared set to achieve one process (more privatization of our public educational system) and one result in vote at that meeting even though recent facts came out about Achieve’s high student suspension rates, mixed test results, and extra administrative charges.
    There apparently was a well-organized lobbying effort, with transportation and T-shirts and all (who paid for these, instead of using money for more textbooks and teachers to benefit the entire city’s school system?)
    Things got a little out of hand. It went on too long (some self-criticism here) but the Chairman erred and was intolerant in making a big deal about directing comments to all rather than just him and Board.
    This educational “reform” trend in Hartford, Chicago, New York, Mexico City is plenty controversial. The facts that many administrators and consultants are making money at it should make us stop and think first. There are plenty of dedicated teachers, paras, and parents working through our public neighborhood schools who keep (do not reject) students, regardless of special and family needs -but with less support and attention for their work when it’s shifted to private, Achieve, or charter schools. Several speakers, including parents, teachers, and state representatives, pointed that out better than I.
    Keeping up support for real equality in a fine universal PUBLIC system – of, for, and by the parents, students, and taxpayers – is the real message for the Board of Education and politicians, including our City Council and state representatives.
    Larry Deutsch, Minority Leader, Hartford City Council

  2. Rich Wareing

    Councilman, with due respect, you were completely out of order last night.

    The public comment period is for members of the public to address their questions and concerns to the Board, not to make speaches to the audience. You were told this at least twice by Mr. Poland, but you ignored him because you werre intent on making a speach to the public, not a statement to the Board. Even after you started, however, you were given multiple opportunities to act appropriately and turn around, sit down, and make your statement to the Board, all of which you ignored as you attempted to hijack the meeting.

    You showed no respect for our very basic rules of procedure, to the people present in the audience, to the many other speakers who followed the rules, or to us as Board members, given that you turned your back to us to address the public directly. The fact that you are a Councilman doesn’t give you the right to take over our meetings and do as you please, any more than the fact that I am a member of the Board gives me the right to come to Council meetings, turn my back to you, and make a speach to the public.

    You also set a terrible example for the children present last night and you embarassed our City given your status as an elected official.

  3. Ebony Murphy-Root

    I leave Hartford for a couple days and Dr. Larry Deutsch? gives ‘em hell at the Board of Ed meeting. Give ‘em hell, Larry, and keep fighting the power for Hartford’s kids. Odd that Richard Wareing can stand up to Larry, but not to ‘Dr’ Steve Perry who made a complete fool of him by purposely mispronouncing his name over and over again at the 2012 Capital Prep graduation. Strange times for U.S. education indeed.

    1. Rich Wareing

      Ebony, I did speak to Steve Perry about that issue after the ceremony. I told him I thought he had been disrespectful. That said, he really has a doctorate, so you are being as disrespectful as he when you refer to him as ‘Dr’ as if he doesn’t or has some sham degree.

  4. Bill

    Maybe privatization is the way to increase efficiency and success in education. I was never such a big adherent but I have changed my mind especially when you have an entrenched teacher’s union concerned mostly about member’s careers. Let’s hire better teachers and fire those who don’t measure up.

  5. Bill

    Oh, and Mr Deutsch was clearly out of order if for no other reason but the children in the audience. He should be fully ashamed of himself.

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