By Jesse Wood
Dec. 6, 2013. Below are photos from the education forum headlined by State Sen. Dan Soucek in Deep Gap Thursday evening. The forum included Watauga County Board of Education Member Ron Henries and past N.C. Teacher of the Year Darcy Grimes on a panel.
The Watauga Democrat reported that members of the audience frequently interrupted the discussions with shouts and laughter.
“A sheriff’s deputy led one woman out of the packed room about 10 minutes from the event’s conclusion,” the newspaper reported. “Soucek also requested at the start that audience members not film the event, and an aide was seen questioning at least two people who took out smartphones during the discussion.”
Photos of the event below show Watauga County Republican Chair Anne-Marie Yates blocking Ian O’Keefe, who is a field director for the Watauga County Democratic Party, from capturing the event with a smartphone. The photos below, which were taken by Lonnie Webster, also shows a sheriff’s deputy stepping in and talking to O’Keefe.
The event was held at the Deep Gap Volunteer Fire Department. A release prior to the event from the office of Soucek stated that all constituents were invited to hear about recent changes to the K-12 legislation enacted by the N.C. General Assembly and how they would impact education in Watauga County and the rest of the state.
Topics of the discussion, led by Soucek who co-chairs the Senate Committee on Education, were to include teacher tenure, teacher pay raises, public charter schools, opportunity scholarships, and home school legislation, among other topics.