Lights, camera, action – District 161 starts recording board sessions

All systems are go for video recordings of school board meetings by Flossmoor District 161.

A screenshot of video posted 
online by Mark Matthews. 

Monday’s committee of the whole meeting – a session at which the school board discusses items of interest, but takes no action – was recorded and will likely be posted on the District 161 website later this week.

Following this April’s election, school board members listed video recordings of meetings as a priority for the coming year. The June 8 board of education meeting was recorded as a trial run but not released to the public. Superintendent Craig Doster said that recording contained some inappropriate language.

“I don’t want our children watching that,” he said.

Doster said the district needs to be able to edit out any vulgar language that may turn up on recordings of board proceedings.

Monday’s committee of the whole session was relatively short – 45 minutes – and the recording is not likely to need any editing. The board discussed a new mission statement for the district, state and national conferences for the coming year and the destruction of outdated science books that have absolutely no value on the open market. All of it was recorded and, Doster said, will probably be posted on the website by this Friday.

Actually, most board meetings have been video recorded for some time. Resident Mark Matthews has consistently recorded meetings and posted them online.

Cameron Nelson, in his unsuccessful bid for the board this spring, listed recorded school board meetings by the district as a key item on his election platform. On Monday, Nelson recorded the committee session, apparently in Matthews’ absence.  

“I’ve been asking for this for the last 18 months,” he said after the meeting.

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