CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that the Board waived policy 2200. The Board motioned to waive the policy, but the motion did not pass. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for this error.
Blue sheets of paper with the phrases “We support Brenda Stephens” and “We demand transparency” littered the Gravelly Hill Middle School auditorium. Some people held Clorox wipe containers in the air along with signs that read “Clean up this mess.”
For 15 minutes at the beginning of Monday night’s Orange County Board of Education meeting, community members approached the podium to read statements disapproving the recent ouster of former Board Chair Brenda Stephens, who was replaced by Will Atherton.
“To Mr. Will Atherton and those who voted to install him as chair: the community is beyond disappointed by your presumptuous power grab,” Heather Redding, Orange County resident and activist, said at the meeting.
The early reorganization at the May 6 Board meeting came as a surprise to many Orange County residents. While the Board was prepared for Sarah Smylie to step down from her position as vice chair for personal reasons, Stephens was expected to complete the three meetings that remained in her term as chair.