Western Heights School Board Takes No Action, Despite Looming Intervention From Board Of Education

Monday, June 28th 2021, 7:35 pm


Monday, the Western Heights School Board held their first meeting since the state Board of Education took action against the district.

Last week the state decided to suspend the education certificate of Superintendent Mannix Barnes.

Parents made signs and protested before the meeting. They told News 9 they are disappointed in the district and also the lack of action after last week's decision.

"We need them to step up and fight for our school," parent Brianna Dodd said.

Dodd pulled her son out of Western Heights, but as an alum she's still fighting for the district.

"They are not trying to even acknowledge it," Dodd said. "This is a pattern."

She feels they are sweeping the state Board of Education's decision regarding Barnes under the rug.

"We know that they are not going to take any action, and so we are here to make a point that we know that he is not supposed to be there," Dodd said.

The state superintendent's general counsel told News 9 without his certificate Barnes can't do any administration work.

The state Board of Education has also given the district until July 8 to take corrective action, or they could discuss intervention or loss of accreditation on July 12.

The main problems include not holding in-person classes for a year, a possible misuse of funds and a staffing shortage.

The agenda did not mention Barnes, his position or any corrective action. During the meeting the board voted not to enter into executive session since the district's attorney couldn't attend the meeting.

News 9 tried to approach the president of the school board, Robert Everman, about Barnes and also what steps they will be taking in the next 10 days.

He said he would not comment on personnel issues or anything not on the agenda. Everman referred News 9 to the district's attorney who has not returned our reporter's call.

Another board member told News 9 the next step would be to schedule a due process hearing.

As of right now that has not been scheduled.