Woman Hurls Accusations At Education Board

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 11, 2014

During the public comments portion of the school board meeting last week, Rachel Helm admitted having “trust issues” after accusing board members of wanting a new high school in order to “pad their resumés” and increase their property values.

“Property values can go up or down, it doesn’t really matter to me, but it might to some people seated on the board. You all (addressing the audience) can look it up. It’s a matter of public record who owns what. I don’t need to run for anything. I don’t need to pad my resumé but there may be people here who have that goal even if they say otherwise.

“You can tell I have trust issues,” she said, during the allotted five minutes she used to say building a new high school was a “humongous waste of money” and that she was motivated by a “sense of duty and responsibility to the children and citizens of Davie County.”

She also said President Obama has taught citizens not to trust those in power, having been awarded the lie of the year award.

“Is everyone involved in this high school project really doing it for the children or the community? Let’s not be naive folks. I hate to say it, but follow the money. Follow the prejudices of certain people. Follow the wants of certain people.”

She said teachers need to be compensated and there needs to be an adequate number of teacher assistants.

“I’m sure most of you here tonight remember the one, two or maybe three teachers that really motivated you in high school or junior high, helped you, made you smile. And probably you also remember the building they taught in, how important was that?”

Helm asked people to vote no on the bond and to ask their representatives to renovate the existing high school, a project that could be finished “in months, not years.”

Before the meeting was adjourned, board member Carol Livengood said public comments should be directed at issues, not at character, adding: “I can assure you I don’t need to pad my resumé. I’m on Social Security. And no one else up here needs to pad their resumés.”

Livengood said later no one on the board stood to benefit financially or otherwise from a new school and wondered how that would be possible, puzzled if Helm meant property values would go up or just how she thought there could be financial benefits.

“I just feel strongly that name calling and personal attacks don’t benefit our children at all,” she said.