Hundreds of angry parents and teachers and a CBS Atlanta reporter were locked out of a Cherokee County Board of Education meeting Thursday evening in possible violation of Georgia law.
A large group of parents and teachers tried to get inside the meeting to hear the debate about a proposed new charter school, Cherokee Charter Academy.
But school system officials refused to allow hundreds of people inside, saying there was no room.
"They need to accommodate everybody," said one woman.
"It's at capacity, we can't get in. They should have had it at a bigger venue," said teacher Paula Neubert.
The officials at first also refused to allow members of the news media to attend the meeting, violating Georgia's Sunshine Law which requires governmental agencies to hold open meetings in front of the press and public.
Later, system officials allowed a CBS Atlanta photographer inside the meeting but refused access to CBS Atlanta reporter Jennifer Mayerle, with an employee pushing her out of the meeting room. It wasn't immediately clear if allowing one photographer inside and blocking other media members from attending complies with Georgia law.
The great majority of people locked outside the meeting were Cherokee County teachers. They indicated that they are against granting a charter to Cherokee Charter Academy, which is trying to get school board approval before a targeted August opening.
In the end, the board decided to take up the issue June 24.
"Whether we talk about it tonight or next week, it's very obvious that no one's in favor of it," said teacher Julie Baker.
"I believe in choice. That's all," said concerned grandmother Anita Hanning.
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