FOREST CITY — For the third time during Brandon Gosey’s tenure on the Board of Education, Chairman Carolyn Keever announced that the actions of Gosey did not reflect the opinion of the School Board or its other members.
Gosey first came under fire by the public and the board by setting up a school safety forum comprised mainly of candidates for political office without school board knowledge. Yet Gosey as a member of the school board already knew the safety plan mandated by state law could not be discussed. Dr. Janet Mason (RCS Superintendent) and Chris Francis (RC Sherriff) would not answer questions concerning specifics of the Rutherford County Schools active shooter policy in order to ensure students’ safety. So, the question here is “Who is this Forum for”?
The safety forum was emceed by WLOS-Ch. 13 reporter Kimberly King. The heavily criticized forum generated questions of the composition of the forum board, the late invitation for Dr. Mason to join the event, no school board members (except Gosey) present, no principals invited, no ethnic diversity, too many GOP candidates at the table, and the selection of a church to host the event.
Gosey to date has not answered the RC NAACP questions or RC Catalyst’s.
Equally troubling is the fact that Gosey gave after-hours access to an unauthorized person to the locked Cool Springs Administrative Building. Gosey and his companion were caught by the school superintendent.
That security incident, abuse of key privileges, caused all board members’ key passes to be reprogrammed to only certain times that they could access the building.
At the beginning of the October Board of Education meeting, behind Chairperson Keever and the board members, the projector showed a slide with both the vision and the mission statements of the Board of Education. Included in the mission statement is “promoting a safe and nurturing school environment.”
In the latest incident, Gosey circulated a meme on Facebook regarding a sexual assault joke. Sexual assault is not a joke as many public speakers at the Board meeting informed Gosey.
Several speakers told of their own rapes, why they didn’t report it, and the long-term physical, emotional pain that resulted from these incidents. Others emphatically stated that this was not a Republican-Democrat issue.
“If you want to make this political, then shame on you.”
“How can a child feel safe knowing that a school board member thinks reporting a sexual assault is funny?” asked a speaker during public comments.
“Gosey is perpetuating a stereotype-that a physically unattractive person cannot be sexually assaulted,” said another victim.
“Sexual assault is a violent crime. It is not about sex,” said another speaker.
“Gosey failed to show moral leadership,” stated another.
Retired minister Pat Job called sexual assault “our dirty little secret” that has been excused as “boys will be boys” in the dehumanization of women in a rape culture.
Gosey did not make any public comment.
Gosey, in all three above described incidents, has demonstrated he does not have the maturity, awareness or sensibility to create, maintain, or promote a “safe and nurturing school environment.”
Additionally Gosey seemingly has lost all credibility with the Board of Education, many of the parents, public and teachers, and will have little influence in affecting policy in the RC Schools in any way.
The resolution of these issues does not end with yet another apology from Brandon Gosey. As chairperson Carolyn Keever stated, “The voters will decide on Nov. 6,” referring to the election of his place as a member on the Board.
Theodore (Leroy) Kelly, Jr. is challenging Gosey for his board seat. Vote Nov. 6.