Heidi Reynolds doesn't deny that, ultimately, she'd like see the Madison school board rescind its decision to name a new school on Madison's southwest side after General Vang Pao, a controversial Hmong leader implicated in drug trafficking and summary executions. But for now, "We just want to reopen the debate."
Reynolds, the parent of children who will attend the new school when it opens in fall 2008, says the board's April 9 vote to select this name "was done way too quickly, there was not enough debate. It was all done under the radar."
The petition states: "We the people listed below, request that the Madison school board open debate to allow more people access to the process and allow more time to make an informed decision. We feel the decision to name the school was made too quickly and without the appropriate amount of research."
So far, Reynolds says she and others have gotten about 200 signatures, mostly going door-to-door. They hope to have 500 to present to the school board next Monday night.
Reynolds’ efforts have attracted some press attention, but an article in The Capital Times and report on WISC-TV Channel 3 neglected to include information on how citizens could add their names to the cause. Reynolds says she would gladly make petitions available on request, or add the names of people who contact her asking her to do so.
Her e-mail address is pandhreynolds [at] charter [dot] net. Those wishing to sign must provide their name, address and phone number, and of course must be residents of the Madison school district. (A copy of the petition can also be viewed in the related downloads.)