Brunswick County Schools denies issuing gag order

Brunswick County Schools denies issuing gag order

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Officials with Brunswick County Schools said Thursday afternoon that they have not tried to silence some employees after allegations surfaced on a social media app.

In an email, school system spokeswoman Jessica Swencki said: "Brunswick County School officials were informed earlier today of a communication circulating on the Nextdoor app in at least one Brunswick County community. The communication alleges that Brunswick County Schools issued a 'gag order' to administrators and staff in the school system related to 'clean water options.' Brunswick County Schools wishes to make it abundantly clear that these allegations are patently false."

The email went on to say that school officials are committed to full transparency and accuracy in regard to water quality in the county's schools and that school leaders have been in constant communication with county leaders as they continue to monitor water quality.

During a meeting on Aug. 31, district leaders and the executive director of the Brunswick County Health Department met with four community representatives from Cape Fear Clean Water and Cape Fear River Watch. Community representatives posed a series of questions and presented an outline of how New Hanover County School officials were collaborating with community organizations to offer a water choice for students in identified schools.

The following actions occurred at the Aug. 31 meeting:

  • Community representatives agreed to email the questions posed during the meeting to school and health department officials. This email communication was received from a community representative on Sept. 7.
  • The school district informed community representatives that it is collaborating with the Brunswick County Health Department. The district will not disseminate information that conflicts with health department guidelines.
  • The school district agreed to contact New Hanover County Schools to obtain copies of referenced agreements between community agencies and system officials that outline the water distribution plan for selected New Hanover County schools. Information obtained from New Hanover County School officials indicate there is no agreement with any community organization to distribute water in any New Hanover County schools. New Hanover County Schools also indicated they do not intend to disseminate information that conflicts with the New Hanover County Health Department guidelines.
  • The school district informed community members that an ad-hoc committee meeting between representatives of the Brunswick County Board of Education and the Board of Commissioners was tentatively scheduled for Sept. 12. School officials were willing to share the New Hanover County Schools agreements for review and discussion. This meeting was postponed due to weather and is being rescheduled based on representative availability.

For the latest information on the county's water issues, click here.

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