Many comments on here offer an opinion that "MANY", or "most" Austintown citizens support Harold Porter. However, there was an election held in Austintown on Tuesday and if you look at the results of the election, it is obvious that Mr. Porter is in the tiny minority. It was well known that at least one or two of the candidates for Austintown Board of Education were supporters of Harold Porter and his negative campaign. When the votes were counted, both of those candidates lost big time. Apparently from this alone Mr. Porter does NOT have a lot of support in Austintown.
I attended the BOE meeting on Oct. 22 and personally witnessed the events reported and saw Mr. Porter attempt to start a fight with Mr. Colaluca, an obvious attempt to "bully" Mr. Colaluca. What is even more upsetting is that Mr. Porter had staged several of the speeches made by Austintown students at the meeting. These students were obviously coached by Mr. Porter to speak out against bullying and they did so eloquently, a credit to their education at Austintown schools. Then Mr. Porter totally discredited himself by turning around and attempting to bully Mr. Colaluca, in front of the very students Mr. Colaluca is charged with supervising.
Another area where Mr. Porter continues to discredit himself is with regard to bus safety. Austintown schools transportation department has one of the best safety records in the state of Ohio. Most of the "safety" complaints heard at the board meetings are repeatedly made by the same individual and his complaint is that his daughter is not picked up at the end of his driveway and she has to walk a short distance to the designated bus stop. This is standard transportation policy and has been for many years. Ask yourself if you are following a school bus in the morning, do you really want the bus to stop every 100 ft. to pick up a single student? Buses have to operate efficiently and safely and such a procedure is not efficient and not safe as it encourages "stop light" violations by cars following the bus.
It is obvious that Mr. Porter is out of step with the majority of Austintown residents and should realize his actions are damaging the very school system he claims to love and support. Mr. Porter should reconsider the course of this campaign he has embarked on and learn to work with the rest of the board of education instead of acting like a spoiled child who doesn't always get his way.
November 8, 2013 at 10:28 a.m.