Fact Check

Yesterday, a local radio talk show host (Ralph Bristol) played an audio tape of what he called a “mandatory teachers’ meeting” held by Williamson Strong. He said the audio was supplied by Julie West, President of the group Parents for Truth in Education.

Mr. Bristol reported that not only did Williamson Strong hold a “mandatory teachers’ meeting” but that we were there. The host named names: Jennifer Smith, Kim Henke, and Susan Drury, along with Mike Looney, Kent Davis (funder of the Leaders of TN PAC), and County Commissioner Gregg Lawrence.

The report featured an audio recording of mostly women talking about the general direction of the school board, the influence of the Koch brothers, and one teacher saying, “There’s all levels of conservative. I consider myself fairly conservative, but these people are con-serv-a-tive.”

Fact Check:

  1. We’re a parent volunteer-run Facebook page and website, so we don’t get to hold mandatory teacher meetings or voluntary ones, for that matter.

  2. We were not at this meeting (which was last September). We didn’t know anything about it. We did not organize the meeting and were not there.

After we heard the radio story, we scouted around a bit.

  1. We talked to a few people who were there and this is what we found out: this meeting included about a dozen teachers. It was in a park and after work. It was a voluntary conversation (NOT a faculty meeting) among teachers. The conversation was secretly recorded.

[Just let that sink in; they broadcasted secretly-recorded audio of private citizens talking on their own time.]