Petition for three Richland school board members to resign garners almost 2k signatures
RICHLAND, Wash. — A ‘Notice of No Confidence’ petition calling for the resignation of three Richland school board members has garnered almost 2,000 signatures in just three days following the surprise mask-choice vote during a meeting last week.
After the vote on Feb. 15, Superintendent Dr. Shelley Redinger made the decision to shut down the Richland school district for two days while the board tried to figure out its next steps.
What followed was hundreds of community members coming to multiple protests and rallies both in support and against the district’s administration.
Elizabeth Lugo, a parent and one of the six creators of the petition, said the past week was “extremely frustrating.”
“They’ve caused the schools to close. They’ve interrupted the education process for two days, putting the district employees and the students out of school, and putting Dr. Redinger in a tumultuous position,” Lugo said. “The school board is here to serve the community. They’re to serve the families, they’re to serve the students, not a select group of people. They’re here to support the entire community and they seem to be doing whatever they want.”
Lugo said it was important to her to show the district they have support during a controversial time that she added was caused by the three board members.
“They’re looking for good leadership. Ethical leadership. They want the school board to return to their mission which is education and not be meddling in matters that have nothing to do with their purview,” Lugo said.
Benita Brown, another community member, said she was “stunned” when she first heard about the vote.
“The disruption that that caused to families and to teachers was very disturbing,” Brown said. “I believe in good governance. There’s a reason we have open public meeting laws in this state. We need to have all of our elected officials be careful not to violate those rules.”
Brown said that while she’s “in favor of people making a point” it should not be at the expense of “thousands of schoolchildren,”
“It’s important that elected officials remember that they are not above the law,” Brown said.
KAPP-KVEW reached out to the three board members for comment, but one declined, one was unable to be reached, and one did not respond.
The petition reads in full:
PRIOR COVERAGE OF THE RSD MASK DECISION:
- ‘An irresponsible decision:’ Hundreds rally to support Richland School District administration
- Richland School Board votes to make masks optional, OSPI prepares notice to withhold funding
- RSD Superintendent issues letter in wake of emergency closures & mask vote
- Lawyer says OSPI can’t enforce mask mandate by withholding school funding
- Tri-Cities students speak out both for and against the statewide mask mandates
- Anti-mandate freedom rally met with counterprotesters in Richland
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