State Politics

Manatee schools set up ‘democracy’ town hall meeting

BRADENTON — In an effort to inspire enthusiasm for democratic involvement as the upcoming legislative session approaches, local school officials this month are hosting a town hall meeting.

The Manatee County School District has invited all residents, including students, parents and school employees to participate in the Jan. 28 event at Braden River High School.

“The best way we can teach our children to get involved in our democracy is for us to model that behavior and get involved ourselves,” said Superintendent Tim McGonegal. “I want to strongly encourage our students, parents, employees and the public to attend this important event.”

NFL Hall of Famer and community activist Henry Lawrence will be the guest speaker. Discussions of hot-button issues such as oil drilling, gambling and class-size requirements are on the agenda.

Admission is free and residents who show up early will be treated to a performance by the Braden River High School Jazz Band.

They will also have the opportunity to register to vote for this year’s elections.

Two of the key objectives of the district’s EdVantage Strategic Plan are to teach children to participate in democratic processes and to engage in global outreach. The town hall meeting is designed to help meet both of those objectives, according to information from the district.