Parents concerned with direction of Clermont County school board

CLERMONT COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Parents and community members in Clermont County held a rally on Monday, concerned with the direction of the school board.

They're called West Clermont United and they formed just after November's election.

Members who attended Monday's rally say some of the board members don't support public schools and there's an imbalance in the political views with the new board.

On the flip side, FOX19 did speak with the school district. They say they're confident in the future of the district and say they won't let political views negatively impact the students or faculty.

"We are here to support the kids, kids come first. Aside from all the political agendas. That needs to be left outside the policies for the school," says Mike Steele, a local parent and member of West Clermont United.

The three newest board members were sworn in on Monday. Steele says these three are all endorsed by the tea party and one is even an active member of the local Clermont tea party.

"There was three new board members elected which kind of politically changed the balance of the school board so at that time we decided that it was time to step up and do something," explains Steele.

There's also concern from something board member Jim Lewis said in an email.

"One of the comments he made in there was slaying the dragon that's the public education system. We don't really look at our public education system as something that needs to be slayed," says Steele.

"Obviously the educators don't understand figures of speech, I guess. It was not aimed at anybody. It's the fact that we have a beast here that's gotten out of control," explains Jim Lewis.

Steele says entering the new year, it's time to pass a levy -- something that he says hasn't happened in years.

"I've got a daughter who's in first grade who's never been to an art class, never been to a gym class, never been to music. Our libraries at this point are being run by parent volunteers. Otherwise our children wouldn't have a library," says Steele.

Lewis acknowledges that there's areas the district needs to improve and he's ready for the difficult task ahead.

"We're in trouble so lets try it a different way and if we don't succeed, throw me out in four years," says Lewis.

West Clermont United says they plan to have members of their group attend every board meeting moving forward.

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