For at least half a century, Osceola School Board meetings have been followed by a smorgasbord of snacks, desserts and soft drinks where board members can chat about the issues of the day – and, apparently, school business.
It’s a tradition that has ended after a local newspaper publisher and editor crashed the after-hours hobnob on April 11, wrote an editorial chastising the School Board and filed a complaint with the Polk County district attorney’s office.
” ‘Is there something we can help you guys with?’ ” Kyle Weaver, editor of the weekly Sun, recalls being asked when he and Sun Publisher Carter Johnson walked into the room where five School Board members, the district administrator and four principals were discussing curriculum issues about 20 minutes after the close of the regular meeting.
“I said, ‘It appears the meeting is still going on,’ and we sat down in our usual chairs,” Weaver said. “It went on just a few minutes more. It appeared they were trying to wrap it up pretty quick.”