Tonight’s special school board meeting to appoint a member to the KUSD board of education was adjourned just after 7 pm. The meeting, which started at 6 pm, was at Indian Trail High School to accommodate the anticipated large amount of supporters of school board member Eric Meadows. The Indian Trail auditorium stage had a long table with name cards for each and every board member, that is, except Eric Meadows.
Meadows’ seat was at a seperate table where he was meant to sit by himself. Meadows is set to be administratively removed from the board this upcoming April, two years before his term was set to expire. KUSD Superintendent Jeff Weiss (D) and School Board President Yolanda Santos (D) made the decision to unilaterally remove Meadows, a conservative, from the board.
Santos wants to allow gay pride and transgender flags and signs in the classrooms, but tonight, she seemed offended by a large number of resident who were holding signs that read “Eric Meadows KUSD School Board.” Meadows isn’t listed on any ballot for any election in the coming year, so it’s not considered electioneering any more than a Romney/Ryan sign would be. Santos ignored residents donning signs and shirts that read “reduce gun violence.”
Santos told the folks with the signs to leave. They refused. She stormed off of the stage and went behind the curtain. She was later joined by Rebecca Stevens (D) and Todd Price (D). The members who stayed on the stage were Todd Battle, Mary Modder, Eric Meadows, and Kristine Schmaling.
“She’s taking her ball and going home,” one taxpayer exclaimed. The President and two others leaving the meeting didn’t stifle the debate. Several residents sang the national anthem and began citizen comments anyway.
Many in attendance were asking the remaining board members and Superintendent Weiss questions. School board secretary Stacy Busby-Schroeder-Stephens called for security to remove people asking questions. Security refused to, becuase they’ve read the first amendment. We asked her why she thought citizens shouldn’t be allowed to speak. She had “no comment.” We asked her for her last name, for this publication – she didn’t answer. She had gone by at least three last names since her tenure at KUSD.
After an hour hiding, Santos re-emerged to the stage and announced that the meeting was “suspended.” Todd Battle, the former director of KABA, made more than $325,000 per year. Much of the KABA budget is funded by the government. Battle has consistently refused interviews or comments from KCE. He also refused to answer questions from the public tonight. We asked him if he regretted his vote for Superintendent Jeff Weiss. He said “No I don’t regret my vote.” We asked him about the overturning of the election. He responded “That’s not what’s happening here.” Behind closed doors, he is supporting Meadows, but isn’t publicly. For example, after the meeting, he told a fellow board member that Santos “picks and chooses” which rules she enforces saying “ignore the signs and let’s have the meeting.” Many speculate that his high-paid position plays a role what he can and can’t do as a board member. Eric Meadows and Carl Bryan are the only two people who are being considered for the open spot. A local attorney and County Board Supervisor Brian Thomas have both removed their names from consideration.
A new board meeting to appoint a new member will be rescheduled.
Chief Communications Officer Tanya Ruder doesn’t always take questions from the media but tonight she broke out in song. (parody)