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Residents speak out at Lake Local Board of Education meeting

Patricia Faulhaber
Suburbanite correspondent

LAKE TWP. The Lake Local Schools Board of Education heard from several of the 150 plus residents who attended the regular meeting on July 20 in response to some recent tweets that appear to have been sent by board member Derrick Bailey.

An account under Bailey’s name tweeted out some information about the science of wearing masks with some links to articles and videos describing that wearing a mask doesn’t work to protect from spreading the COVID-19. One tweet tagged Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and referenced a the hashtag #realscience.

Some residents became worried about the tweets and came to voice their concern to the board.

Bailey has not yet confirmed or denied the tweets came from his Twitter account. Another tweet that came from the @derrickbailey4 account was posted on July 12. The tweet states, “the quicker we get it and build up herd immunity the better and faster we can get this behind us.”

Baily has been a board member since 2010. He was absent from the meeting.

There were 150-plus residents in attendance and most wore masks, but there were a few that did not have face covering. The board kept the public speaks section to a little more than 30 minutes allowing eight to 10 people to speak. There were several staff members of the Lake Local Schools who addressed the board and the residents.

All of those who spoke were in favor of students and teachers wearing masks. One person asked that everyone take a step back and pause so that the board could get this right. Several asked the board not to express their personal, political or science viewpoints and to put those opinions to the side. Another person said the board’s job was to educate students and serve the community.

One person offered that COVID 19 is the enemy. There were many sitting and standing in the cafetorium at Lake Elementary holding up signs to keep the kids and teachers safe.

The board nor the administration discussed what plan the district will propose to return students to Lake Local Schools.

At the end of the public speaks section, Board President Jenny Anderson read the following statement.

“Thank you all for speaking and expressing your concerns tonight. As board members, we are charged with adopting policies for the governance of the school, it’s employees and the students of the district. Our first and greatest concern must be the educational welfare of ALL students attending this public school. All of us sitting up here are different and have the right to express our personal opinions, but, once the board has acted, we are to accept the will of the majority.

“We hear you and we care for all of you. I can only speak for myself, but I’m pretty confident this goes for all of us, I have listened to every voicemail, read every email and text, and talked with everyone who called me. I believe that we will get through this. We trust our administration and will work with them to approve a plan that we believe is in the best interest of our district.”

Other actions:

• Extended the contract for Treasurer Nicole Nichols for five years beginning in 2021. Nichols has been the district’s treasurer since 2012. Her contract has been extended from Aug. 1, 2021 through July 31, 2026. Her annual salary was not available at the time of the meeting.

• Approved student fees for the 2020-21 school year.

• Approved one-year supplemental contracts for the 2020-21 school year including guidance office, marching band and athletics personnel.

• Set Aug. 17 as the district’s convocation and meeting day for teachers.

• Went into executive session to discuss that federal law or regulations or state statues require the public body to keep confidential, with not action taken.

UP NEXT: Meets 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 17 at Lake Elementary cafetorium.