Lakota School Board amends policy for board members visiting schools
LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WXIX) - The Lakota School Board voted to amend a policy that will tighten school security for visitors and board members.
The 4-1 vote to amend policy 9150 goes into effect immediately but still has to be voted on again for full adoption at the next school board meeting.
Monday’s outcome stems from when school board member Darby Boddy entered Lakota East High School and Liberty Early Childhood School during an announced visit on May 4.
Up until Monday, the policy stated school board members “who are interested in visiting schools or classrooms on an unofficial basis shall make the appropriate arrangements with the principal.”
Now, board members need to notify the superintendent or principal. The policy also gives a more detailed definition of what a school board unofficial visit is.
The district said Boddy did not follow the guidelines on May 4 by not notifying the school principals she was coming.
Once inside the schools, Boddy took photos, which were obtained by our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The dozens of pictures vary in context from civil rights timeline projects done by the children, to messages signifying that all are accepted in the building or classroom, the photos show. Some appear to be projects that have a rainbow-colored theme.
Boddy claimed in a Facebook post that she did not sneak into the schools and that the visits were not a secret.
Boddy was given a notice of tresspassing following the visit.
Boddy said she was doing what her constituents want her to do: “Ensure policies are being followed and observed and document the environment. That’s what I was doing, and that’s my job.”
One Lakota School Board member said how Boddy went about this and by not following the policy is unacceptable.
“The safety of our students is the number one priority of the district as it should be,” a board member said. “Unfettered access is not unilaterally granted to anyone, including elected officials at any level of government.”
As for the change to the policy, Boddy said it is a sign her fellow board members fear that she is doing her job.
“I think my colleagues are afraid of a board member doing their job as stated in the code of policy and Ohio revised code,” Boddy explained Monday.
Boddy said she is currently asking state legislators to adopt laws similar to Florida laws which would give board members more access to schools.
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