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School Board Member Takes Issue With Story

During my three years as a member of the Richmond City School Board, I have been the subject of consistently accurate and excellent media reporting. Indeed, I have viewed my relationship with the media as both positive and professional. However, I must set the record straight on a statement attributed to me in the article "Schools Out" (News & Features, Jan. 2).

I spoke to the reporter, Chris Dovi, on several occasions to share the events of Sept. 21 as they transpired rather than as they appeared afterward. I also explained that several city administration deadlines requesting the School Board to move out had come and gone with no explanation. Therefore it was difficult for the board to know what would be coming next. My reference to the "game of chicken" indicated the powerlessness and confusion that the School Board felt but my exact statement was "It was like they were playing chicken with us."

At no time did I ever give the impression that anyone on the School Board thought this was not a serious matter or that delaying tactics would be appropriate. In fact, there was no delay at all. The School Board responded to each and every recommendation that was made by the city administration. I repeatedly said to Mr. Dovi that throughout the spring of 2007, board members told the school administration to keep all options open as we waited to see what would be funded and what City Council wanted the School Board to do.

I appreciate this opportunity to clarify my position and correct any untrue statements attributed to me. I also look forward to continued fair and accurate coverage by your reporters.

Lisa Dawson
Richmond School Board

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