Tipp City residents continue call for school board members to resign

Tippecanoe High School. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
Tippecanoe High School. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Supporter of board members criticizes petitions calling for resignation

Supporters of a call for the resignations of the Tipp City Exempted Village Schools Board of Education leaders rallied outside the Board of Education Office before and during the board’s Monday meeting.

Board President Theresa Dunaway and Vice President Anne Zakkour are named in a petition calling for their resignations due to claims they are not acting in the district’s best interest and are negatively affecting its reputation and future vitality.

Dunaway and Zakkour have called the petitions’ claims about ending open enrollment, the number of board meetings and other issues “falsehoods”

A posting announcing Monday’s rally outside the board meeting said it was for those interested in preserving the local schools’ excellence and the calls for resignation. The petitions circulated by the Tipp City Concerned Citizens have several hundred signatures.

The board again heard Monday from residents who, because of continuing COVID restrictions, were allowed to enter the board room one at a time to comment.

Karen Weber, a retired district teacher, asked board members if they personally were following principles emphasized by the school district at all buildings on being responsible and respectful and having integrity.

She asked the board to understand the frustration in the community when focus of the board differs from community needs and concerns. “This community expects better,” Weber said, adding later, “Do you comprehend the disappointment of community members when their voices are not heard?”

Resident Kathy Bone criticized the petitions and encouraged all board members to do the jobs they were elected to complete.

“I don’t think they should be targeting any of you,” Bone said. “I am never going to agree with all of you … but I think we have to have open debate. We have to have everybody listened to.”

The board Monday again discussed if it could open its meetings to the public with the lifting of COVID restrictions. Some community members have been calling for opening meetings to allow more input and transparency The board traditionally has held its meetings at the board offices on Tippecanoe Drive but with any restrictions cannot hold many people.

Other options were explored including the City Council chambers in the Tipp City Government Center, said Superintendent Mark Stefanik. That space is not available because meetings still are being held remotely, he said.

The Center for Performing Arts at the high school also was suggested but streaming would be an issue from that location and Dunaway said setup for a public meeting in the facility is awkward.

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