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Notes from the North Bend School Board meeting on 8/26/2021

Last updated on March 5, 2023

Several people have asked me what happened at the North Bend School Board meeting the other night. I didn’t take any notes but here are the highlights as far as I can remember.

There were three contentious topics on the agenda for this meeting:

  1. A resolution asking for local control rather than state-issued mask mandates.
  2. A resolution opposing the teaching of Critical Race Theory.
  3. A request to approve board members being reimbursed for attending training provided by Oregon Right to Life

The meeting started off with the board immediately voting to table the CRT resolution so they could discuss it further in a work session.

When the public comment time arrived, I believe there were 12 or 13 speakers. The board actually had to vote to extend the normal 30 minute comment period. Only two or three of the speakers were in support of the two resolutions. I don’t know which of the board members wrote those resolutions, but they failed to get almost any of their constituents to come and speak in support. The opposition was present in force though. They included several teachers from the district, a SWOCC Tenured Professor, a former School Board member and one recent graduate of NBHS. I commend the newly elected board members for trying to make a difference, but you have to get your supporters to show up. Someone mentioned a recent poll in North Bend was 60% against CRT. Why didn’t they show up then?

The discussion of the resolution for local control regarding masking ended up tabled for a work session as well after Eric Gleason said they should decide what local control would actually look like. He asked for a plan based on specific metrics before they actually voted on the issue.

The last topic was a training opportunity provided by Oregon Right to Life. Board rules apparently require any reimbursed training (outside of a narrow predefined scope) be approved by a vote of the board. This was actually voted on and passed narrowly. The board member sitting at the far left end, I don’t recall his name, responded to the vote by emphatically saying that it was a joke or ridiculous, something to that effect. Eric Gleason joined him by saying that type of training served no purpose to the school board. This disagreement caused another board member (Kristina Simpson I believe) to make a motion to rescind the vote and table this issue as well. The motion passed and the meeting continued with a few more mundane topics before being adjourned.

Honestly, the whole meeting was a mess. The conservative board members had almost no support. Every issue was tabled rather than voted on. The board allowed two vocal members to badger them into reversing a vote that had already occured.

On an interesting note, I refused to wear a mask but was not stopped from entering the meeting. A few minutes in, someone offered me a mask but I declined and they didn’t force the issue. About an hour into the meeting, another person approached and offered me a mask. When I declined again, he said I would have to sign a “medical exemption” form. I told him I was not signing anything. He responded by saying that if I didn’t, they would have to adjourn the meeting. I shrugged and said “I have a right to be here”. I fully expected him to push the issue, maybe even involve the NBPD Officer present, but I never heard from him again and the meeting continued without me wearing a mask.

Let me state this emphatically… My government has no authority over what I wear on or put in my body. I will NEVER wear a mask or get a shot just to interact in the political process that is my birthright as a natural born Citizen of the United States.

-Matthew Wilbanks (Editor @

One Comment

  1. Jane doe Jane doe August 28, 2021


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