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Watauga Democrat: School Board abandons plan to require tickets for public entry to hearing

The Watauga County Board of Education is holding a special meeting to consider the use of a book, "The House of the Spirits," by a high school class. Rather than require the public to obtain tickets in advance, the meeting is being moved to a larger space in the county courthouse. 

The Watauga Board of Education is expecting a large crowd for its Thursday night meeting on the use of "The House of the Spirits," a novel about a Chilean family set in a spirit-filled world, that deals with rape and execution among other issues.

The book has been used in high school honors English classes. Some parents complained and the Board of Education is considering whether to allow continued use. Supporters of the book have organized a rally, which the ACLU of North Carolina joined, prior to the meeting. 

On Tuesday night, the Board of Education announced that tickets would be required for the public to attend the meeting. The room where the board meets could not handle a larger crowd, according to Wataugua schools. A similar system was used by Wake County schools for a contentious board meeting in 2010. When the ticket requirement was challenged, the N.C. Court of Appeals ruled that it did not violate the North Carolina Open Meetings Act. 

On Thursday, the school system announced that insead of requiring tickets, it would move the meeting to the county courthouse where more than 200 people could be accommodated.

Read the Democrat's coverage here


Jonathan Jones,
2/27/2014 6:15 PM