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Sutton High News

School Committee Meeting Postponed

Thursday, May 9 is the new date
Jocelyn Klinghard
Pride advocates peacefully stand towards the side of the line.

The heated debate continues on, as a less than fortunate event caused the School Board meeting to be canceled nearly an hour before the start time.

Even with the rescheduled meeting, however, simply being there an hour early gave line-waiters an interesting insight to the meeting to come.

When I arrived at 5:45 p.m. (keep in mind the doors were scheduled to open at 6, there were at least 30 people already lined up on the block waiting patiently to get inside. The crowd at this point mostly consisted of teachers, staff, and a few parents of children at the high school and middle school.

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The line ten minutes after scheduled start time at the Sutton School Board Meeting (Jocelyn Klinghard)

Soon, the mass doubled in size, ranging from a few high schoolers, young twenty year-olds, parents, and noticeably a few veterans. Based on this, it is clear that ConCon 2024 affected more than just the parents and students of Sutton High School.

Around the same time, three to four Pride advocates arrived with two pride flags. This didn’t seem like a protest, but more of an advocation for pride and the good things they felt Sutton’s Connections club were doing. They were very peaceful and stood off to the side of the line, holding Pride flags and talking to those waiting in line.

When asked for a comment on their participation in the meeting, one member discussed their support for the Connections Conference. “The Connections Conference is important.” They further explained that they found the club to be an inspiration, and “they should be the goal for everyone. Justice and equality is worth fighting for.”

Early arrivals wait at the door for the meeting. (Cameron Loss)

Agreeing with the club is up to the individual; however, it does seem to have made an impact and that was goal.

On the topic of goals, Mr. McCarthy explained what he had hoped to accomplish with the meeting before its cancelation. “My goal was to share information about Connections so that everyone has the facts about how Connection works in our school.”

If you cannot wait for the meeting to learn more about Connections, check out our article for one view on it.

Opinionated or not, it was to the understanding of most that the goal was to have a healthy debate and hopefully put the controversial event behind us. Select Board member Jesse Limanek said, “I really hope the community has a good dialogue and that we come up with a good compromise in the end.”

A demonstration of pride before the meeting (Cameron Loss)

Another teacher from the line mentioned the same: “I hope people are able to listen with kindness.”

Now, would the conversation be as peaceful as many had hoped once the meeting started? Nobody knew. It seemed that everyone involved was very aware of this, and were almost on edge, waiting for something to break out.

From the very start, there were at least three visible Sutton police officers standing off to the side. It seemed a foreshadowing of the tension that could soon grow in the board room.

Sutton High School teachers waiting outside for the meeting. (Cameron Loss)

Perhaps the most notable part of the night was that the performer from the conference, Diva D, was present. Waiting patiently in line, talking to Connections Teachers and pride advocates, Diva D went almost unnoticed.

When I asked them for a comment, they declined.

Not only was there Sutton citizens and advocators present, but also press (other than ourselves). This press group came from a company named Comflm. They claimed the founder of the company was Channel 5. They explained that they go union wide, gathering information on stories they are told to cover.

In the end two police officers came out and announced that due to technical difficulties the meeting would be rescheduled to Thursday. After later interviews, it was to the officer’s understanding that it was an I.T. problem with people not being able to zoom in.

Tonight’s School Committee meeting is being postponed until Thursday, 5/9/24 at 7:30pm following the district-wide art show. Upon my arrival to Town Hall this evening I learned the Town’s servers were down. We spent time working through various options but were unsuccessful. Like many of you, I am frustrated that this meeting needs to be rescheduled but we must do so to adhere to open meeting laws. A big thank you to the Sutton TV and Town Hall employees who tried their best to come up with a viable solution to make tonight’s meeting work. It has been a long couple of months for our town and this meeting is intended to move us forward with action and next steps. It is my hope that we can do so cordially and with respect for our neighbors, and ultimately with the students of our district as our top priority.

— Ben Gibbons, School Committee Chair

A larger view of the waiting line, all whom were sent home after an hour of waiting. (Cameron Loss)

Many were shocked at this announcement, as well as a few understandably upset. Some were concerned about the new date and the time wasted in line. However, others created their own theories, leading to the conclusion that this will only put a fire under the next meeting. One theory was shared with me–that the board had seen the crowd and it being more than expected, decided to back off.

Whatever happened, and multiple sources confirm it was technology based, the meeting is now scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sutton High School auditorium.


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About the Contributor
Jocelyn Klinghard
Jocelyn Klinghard, Staff Reporter
My name is Jocelyn Klinghard. I am a sophomore at Sutton High School, play flute in our band, and  recently started the Newspaper Club.

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