NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - There was uncertainty Monday night on whether or not the Nacogdoches ISD school board would call a school bond election. It surfaced as late as Thursday night at a school board workshop. Bond proponents were nervous.
"We were at a tipping point in terms of the vote, and the board was not sure how they were going to go," said Ann Wilder, Nacogdoches ISD Facilities Steering Committee member. "I think the efforts of the Facebook social media sites helped mobilize public opinion."
Over the weekend the public group, ' A New Carpenter Supporters', was used to quickly organize an effort to keep a new Carpenter Elementary School in the bond proposal. It got on the ballot by one vote. Now the site is used to rally more support.
"We have a Facebook page, and we had a lot of people really pushing that people understand what's going on. We had 103 people sign saying they agree to the proposal," said Amber Teal, Nacogdoches ISD facilities steering committee member.
Bond proponent, Michele Peck, sends updates via Twitter. Others post to several sites, including KTRE'S Facebook. Meanwhile, District Superintendent, Dr. Fred Hayes, leaves responses on his own site. Social media is making an impact.
"It's helped to mobilize public opinion and vocalize in a very clear and succinct way" Wilder said.
Within minutes after the board's vote, a Saturday organizational meeting was called via social media. This was a quick way to get the word out, but proponents know the opposing viewpoint will probably be using the same methods.
Citizens have few restrictions on what they can say via social media. School board members and administrators are restricted in expressing viewpoints now that an election has been called.