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Amid turmoil, Salt Lake City school board wants to close part of meeting for self-evaluation
Education » Member at center of friction says the criteria to exclude public have not been met.

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Board member Laurel Heath Young said that she hadn’t seen discrimination in her 16 years on the board, noting that Clara is not the board’s first minority member.

Board member Douglas Nelson also disagreed with Clara’s assessment.

At a glance

About Monday’s meeting

Monday’s meeting of the Salt Lake City Board of Education will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the offices of the Salt Lake City School District, 440 East 100 South, Salt Lake City. The agenda lists a professional development discussion, followed by a closed session for a board self-evaluation.

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"I do not doubt that you feel that way but you are living in, just speaking only for myself, a really different reality from me …" Nelson said. "If you don’t [get votes from other board members on issues] you’re definitely not going to carry the day, but it has nothing to do with whether you have a Latino background or not."

Withers said the self-evaluation has been scheduled for months and was not spurred by Clara’s accusations at the last meeting. He said he sees how some might have questions about the right way for a board to conduct a self-evaluation.

He said the board’s decision about possibly closing the meeting will be a matter of balancing the public’s need for transparency and openness against the board’s need to have honest and deep conversations about the character, competence and physical/mental health of individuals — topics of discussion all allowed during closed meetings under Utah law.


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