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Tempers flare at school board meeting; attorney thrown out - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Tempers flare at school board meeting; attorney thrown out

A Beaumont attorney and community activist faces a charge of disorderly conduct after losing his temper at a Beaumont Independent School District board meeting.

Mike Getz was escorted out of Thursday night's meeting by BISD Police Chief Clydell Duncan.

Getz was charged with a Class C misdemeanor.

The chaos began during communications, which gives taxpayers three minutes to address the school board.

Getz walked to the podium and began reading an editorial out of the weekly newspaper, "The Examiner."

The editorial, which is written by Jerry Jordan, calls out Superintendent Carrol Thomas and other district employees.

BISD School Board President Woodrow Reece repeat asked Getz to stop mentioning names because it violated the board's policy, but Getz didn't comply.

That's when BISD police stepped in.

"Get your hands off of me," yelled Getz as Chief Duncan tried to pull him away from the podium. "The First Amendment gives me a right to speak."

Getz stormed outside where a BISD police officer cited him.

12 News HD asked Getz why he was so upset:

"This is the the kind of school board that wants to suppress anything going on that's not to their liking," screamed Getz. "you don't have the right to free speech in a BISD board room. If you don't say something they like, then they arrest you."

BISD spokesperson Jessie Haynes released the following statement:

"After several attempts over the last several weeks to incite BISD officials to arrest him, local attorney Michael Getz was ticketed tonight for disrupting the Beaumont Independent School District's Board of Trustees meeting."

"Within the last month, Getz has been asked to remove himself from school property as he broke local school policy by distributing political materials on school campuses. He was again asked to cease and desist from doing the same thing at the Carrol A. "Butch" Thomas Educational Support Center as he tried to recruit attendees to sign his petition to change the make up of the Beaumont ISD Board of Trustees. Tonight, Getz was asked several times by BISD President Woodrow Reece to not violate Board policy by calling out names of employees and to stop disrupting the meeting."

"While some believe Getz's plan was to continually try to gain more media attention by getting arrested in a plot to boost his current low numbers of signatures for his petition, Board President Reece said he is saddened to see that anyone would violate the order of the law after repeatedly being requested and warned. "We have managed to conduct our meetings in an orderly and respectful fashion. We will not allow such continued violations and disrespect to occur," Reece explained.

"Getz was charged with disrupting a public meeting. He was removed from the Board Room and ticketed. Getz stated to members of the media that he made this move to get arrested because he needed to get more petition signatures."

Following the district's comments , Getz responded with this statement:

"That is a complete lie," said Getz. " We have more than 10,000 signatures; we only needed 9,400."

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