Melanie’s Minutes Part 3: Dexter Board of Education Meeting Summary – Sept. 16

This is Part 3 of Melanie’s Minutes – a report from the Sept. 16th Dexter Board of Education meeting.

Public Participation

During the second time allotment for public participation, David Read, husband of Trustee Barbara Read, spoke about what he considers to be an “unfortunate course of action” against Trustee Read.  He expressed his feeling that people presenting criticisms against the District are attacked by the Board, citing past examples involving the high school newspaper, Title IX, the Summit Learning PLP (Personalized Learning Plan) and photographer Robert Bowden, among others.

He also stated that the Open Meeting Act is meant to create open, transparent meetings, and that the Board is trying to squash openness and transparency. During Mr. Read’s comments, the 3-minute timer was heard, but the Board allowed him to continue speaking.

After Read’s comments, Trustee Daryl Kipke noted that the Board doesn’t usually respond to public comment unless it’s a point of fact, and stated that the District followed its policy and the law perfectly in the actions regarding Robert Bowden.

Board Comments & Closed Session

Final board comments included short updates by the Facilities and Finance Committees, and a reminder that the next Community Chat will be held on October 14th at 8:30 a.m. at Copeland.

In response to her husband’s remarks, Trustee Read commented that when public comment is what the Board likes, people are allowed to go over time and that the Board cut David Read’s comments short.

Trustee Read then asked for information regarding the District’s statement about her, including when it was drafted, signed and when the decision to release it to the media was made. Read said she was never asked to sign it and can’t find record of any decision in meeting minutes.

Kipke thanked her for her comment, after which Read asked, “do you not know the answer?”

When Kipke replied that her question was made during board comment time, she replied, “So you’re refusing to answer?”  Kipke reminded Read that her question was considered a board comment only, and would be addressed at a later time.

The Board then adjourned to closed session to discuss the Superintendent’s quarterly evolution and material exempt from disclosure.  After closed session, the Board reconvened to approve the release of the Field Hockey Title IX Investigation Executive Summary after meeting with the appropriate parties. The motion was approved 4-0, with Read abstaining.

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