Save Our Schools 497 plans to livestream public hearings on Broken Arrow, Pinckney closures

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Local activist group Save Our Schools 497 has tentative plans to livestream Saturday’s public hearings on possible closures of Broken Arrow and Pinckney elementary schools.

The Lawrence school board on Feb. 28 voted to hold public hearings — which are required by state law when districts are considering school closures — for the two schools.

The district will provide child care for school-age children, and there will also be an American Sign Language interpreter present, but it was not planning to make a livestream option available.

Barring tech issues, if all goes as planned:

• The Broken Arrow hearing, set for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in the school gym, will livestream at this link.

• The Pinckney hearing, set for 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday in the school gym, will stream at this link.

There will not be an option to provide virtual public comment, but the livestreams will allow people who can’t be there in person to listen in.

This is the first time SOS 497 has attempted to livestream anything, and they had to get their YouTube subscribers up to a certain count, co-founder Alicia Erickson said via email Friday. SOS 497 is also planning rallies, beginning half an hour before each public hearing.

Those interested in speaking at the public hearings can email to sign up in advance, or complete a signup sheet at the hearing by the start time.

Read more about the hearings and see a map of proposed new boundaries should the school board choose to close the schools in this article.

The Lawrence school board is planning to take a final vote on closures next week. The board will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, March 27 at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive. People may sign up to give public comment during that meeting the same ways, by emailing or filling out a signup sheet before the meeting begins. That meeting will be livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel.

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Mackenzie Clark (she/her), reporter/founder of The Lawrence Times, can be reached at mclark (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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