MPs summoned to school board meeting after parents refused to wear masks
Sheriff’s deputies were called to a local school board meeting after parents refused to follow the district’s mask mandate.
The regular Center Grove Schools Board meeting on Thursday night was delayed after parents who refused to wear masks in the administration building were told to leave. Although two Center Grove officers attended the meeting, they called the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office after the parent group refused to leave the meeting room. Those not wearing masks eventually left after the arrival of two sheriff’s deputies, and the board continued to meet.
It was the second meeting of the local school board in a week in which parents refused to wear masks despite district-wide mandates. The Clark-Pleasant school board meeting on Tuesday was adjourned after just two minutes because parents refused to wear masks.
Ahead of the Center Grove meeting, about 20 parents refused to leave or wear masks and took turns to voice their grievances over the mask’s mandate.
Parents said they believed the school board should have sought their permission before implementing the mask’s mandate. One person called Superintendent Rich Arkanoff a dictator for asking people attending the school board meeting to wear masks. Another called the mask’s mandate a civil rights issue.
Arkanoff refused to start the meeting when the people were there without a mask.
“The board will meet if people are wearing masks,” Arkanoff told the crowd. “Hide yourself or get out. “
At the end of a video posted to social media, one attendee said he was leaving the meeting because more officers were showing up.
During the meeting, relative Kara Cecil said several people had been denied requests for the agenda.
“Several people asked to be put on the agenda and they were turned down,” Cecil said. “We have filed official complaints with the public access advisor. “
People are allowed to speak after registering to discuss agenda items, but to be added to the agenda as a separate item, they must request to be placed on the order. of the day at least 10 days in advance. Although some parents have done this, school board president Jack Russell is not required to approve their requests, Arkanoff said.
Cecil was also concerned about the changes to the public consultation protocol.
The school board approved a change in March that extended the application period to 10 days before, and also approved a change to allow public comments to stop if school board meetings go virtual, but these changes are not. new ones, said Arkanoff.
The only proposed change, which will be voted on at a public meeting at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, will be to require public comment to address action items on the school board’s agenda, rather than no matter what. what, he said.
The nearby Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation decided this week that it would host school board meetings virtually due to parental conduct, The (Columbus) Republic reported. Center Grove’s goal is to maintain in-person meetings, but if parents continue to violate mask warrants, moving them online wouldn’t be out of the question, Arkanoff said.
“The board really wants to have face-to-face meetings, but if they need masks they won’t hold a meeting unless everyone is wearing a mask,” he said. “We are aware of the virtual meeting option, but at the moment the board does not want to do it. “