GOSHEN, Ind. — Goshen Community Schools Superintendent, Steve Hope, prevented REAL News Michiana from recording audio at their public meeting Monday night, telling RNM’s Clifton French, “No Mics!” Other GCS staff told RNM we could pull audio off of Goshen Community Schools’ YouTube feed, however, video of the meeting has been pulled from the district’s YouTube account. Meaning there is no verifiable audio of the meeting available.
This meeting was contentious with many people in attendance planning to speak for and against a 6th grade teacher who organized a drag show for children at a public park pool this summer. RNM broke the story about the drag show and its organizer the day before the event was scheduled. After RNM published a story regarding the event, the Goshen LGBTQ Pride organization publicly announced they had cancelled the drag show for kids, which you can read about here. Superintendent Hope is on the record defending the teacher. You can read that story here.
Only minutes after denying RNM the ability to record audio, Hope made a statement that seemed to pick a side in the room. Despite RNM not hearing a single person attack the LGBTQ community or their rights and simply describe concern about a middle school teacher organizing a drag show for kids, Hope seemed to indicate the LGBTQ community was under attack.
“I want to start with a special message for the LGBTQ community.” Hope said. “Goshen schools will be open to all.” The quote is being taken from RNM’s notes and could be off by a few words, since there is no audio record of the meeting available at this time.
In his nearly 15 years of news coverage, Clifton has never not been allowed to place a microphone in an area that would allow him to pick up public and official comment during a public meeting. In Florida for example, where recording is allowed in courtrooms, Clifton has been consistently allowed to place microphones on the witness stand.
The board did change the venue of this meeting the day before it was scheduled to occur. The meeting was moved from the administration center at 613 E. Purl Street to the new Goshen Intermediate School on Greene Rd.
RNM’s Clifton French arrived to the meeting 45 minutes early to set up. As he arrived, staff members were still setting up the new venue. RNM asked if there was going to be a podium for microphone placement, the staff member said the podium was left at the other venue. RNM explained we could place the small microphone on a table near the public comment area and superintendent, but Superintendent Steve Hope told his staff and RNM “no mics” were allowed.
RNM did manage to physically mic up one of the citizens prior to his turn during public comment. That was the only clean audio obtained.
Clifton French immediately contacted RNM’s attorney. All legal options are currently being explored.
Hope has been the Superintendent at Goshen Community Schools since last year. He was previously the Assistant Superintendent. He spent 22 years in the Penn Harris Madison school district prior to that. He was the principal at Penn High School for 11 years before heading to Goshen in 2017.
REAL News Michiana relies on member subscribers to keep going. As a subscriber, you’ll get an RNM mug and invites to special events. Help us continue to expose corruption and report on the news conservatives care about by subscribing here.