After school board’s CRT rejection, Edgewood Schools leader withdraws from job candidacy

Edgewood Schools Superintendent Russ Fussnecker told the Journal-News Thursday he has withdrawn his name as a finalist for the superintendent's job with Hamilton County's Forest Hills school system. (File Photo\Journal-News)

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Edgewood Schools Superintendent Russ Fussnecker told the Journal-News Thursday he has withdrawn his name as a finalist for the superintendent's job with Hamilton County's Forest Hills school system. (File Photo\Journal-News)

Fewer than 24 hours after the Forest Hills school board voted to ban Critical Race Theory (CRT) from its classrooms, the Edgewood Schools’ superintendent who was seeking a job there has withdrawn his candidacy.

Russ Fussnecker, Edgewood Schools superintendent since 2015, told the Journal-News he is no longer a candidate for the top job with Hamilton County’s Forest Hills Schools.

On Wednesday evening, the Forest Hills Board of Education voted to ban CRT and CRT-related classroom instruction during a heated public meeting that saw some angry audience members shout and walk out over the vote, according to the reporting from the Journal-News’ media partner WCPO-TV.

ExploreForest Hills school board bans anti-racism, critical race theory teachings

Fussnecker, who was one of three finalists for the Forest Hills job, told the Journal-News Thursday: “I am withdrawing my name as a candidate for the Forest Hills School District Superintendent.”

ExploreEdgewood Schools superintendent is candidate for role in another district

“In light of the board action taken at the meeting last night, I have decided that my leadership style would not take Forest Hills in the direction it appears to be going,” he said.

“I appreciate the opportunity to interview for the position and wish you well in your continued search for your next leader.”

Fussnecker declined, when asked, to offer more comments as to why he withdrew.

WCPO reported that “during public comments, parents and students spoke against the resolution, pleading with board members not to pass it. At times, those in attendance shouted and spoke over members as they were speaking — some yelled at those who voted yes, calling them racist.”

Forest Hills community members, reported WCPO, are planning on holding a rally against the new curriculum ban Thursday at 5 p.m. outside the district’s main office. The resolution comes less than a month after the board canceled Turpin High School’s diversity day. Students protested the decision, walking out of class and hosting their own event.

Bringing back diversity day was also discussed in Wednesday’s Forest Hills meeting, but a motion to have it in 2023 failed.

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